Well, first of all let me tell you that a critical appreciation of a poem is defined as an in-depth reading of a poem with an objective approach. The process requires a minute observation on your part. When you are reading a poem for the first time, you may have a kind of pleasure that will appeal to your senses. However, it is difficult to define the nature of such pleasure. You must have a sensitive mind to feel the underlying thought embedded in the core of the poem.
While critically examining a poem, you have to put your emotion aside, and look into the construction of the poem. Writing a critical appreciation of a poem is almost similar to dissecting a body. You have to critically figure out various aspects upon which the poem is based.
Here I am going to train you how to approach a poem when you have to write a critical appreciation of a poem. Some classic methods are as follows, read it carefully.
The title is an important part of a poem. It is like a doorway to the poem. An aptly given title encapsulates the central thought of the poem. So, when you attempt to write a critical appreciation of a poem, read the piece over and over again and try to understand if the title is well justified or not. You can mention if the title is based on the subject matter of the poem or any character. If you feel the title is metaphorically given, you can mention it.
Poetry is a vehicle of expression. Therefore, language is an issue that determines how far the readers can relate themselves with the poem. Mention if the language is simple or complex; ornamental or flat; tortuous or straightforward. Remember, language is an important aspect in poetry that captures the mood of the poem.
A poet enjoys the liberty to use words in metaphorical sense. You may find many unknown words in a poem. So, consult a dictionary and find out the meaning of the unusual words while writing a critical appreciation of a poem.
Imagery is a visually descriptive or figurative language that appeals to our senses. Great poets use vivid imagery to enchant the readers. While writing a critical appreciation of a poem, you must mention how the use of imagery is intensifying the words chosen by the poet. Mention if the poem is symbolically suggestive.
Figures of speech:
Proper use of figures of speech enhances the inner beauty of the poem. Mention if the poem bears the cases of personification, simile, metaphor, onomatopoeia, synecdoche, hyperbole, idiom, inversion, periphrasis to name a few. Try to understand how effective they are and if they are intended to make an emphasis or present an idea metaphorically.
Intertextuality refers to the allusion, citation, pastiche, plagiarism and many such issues. Often poets borrow lines or ideas from other books or works in order to shape up his poem. So, if you notice such case, you may mention them while writing a critical appreciation of a poem.
A rhyming scheme refers to the pattern of the rhyme. For example, in Shakespearean sonnets, we notice the following rhyming pattern a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g. Rhyming words might be present either at the end of the line or in the middle. So, you have to mention them while making the critical appreciation of a poem.
Scan the poem. Find the meter employed in the poem. Metric variations normally include Iambic, Trochaic, Spondaic, Anapaestic, Dactylic, Amphibrachic, and Pyrrhic. However, do not mention meter scheme if you do not have command over prosody.
Genre means the category of an artistic composition. While determining the genre of a poem, find out the set rules and regulations that address certain genre and mention the category to which the poem belongs. For example, a lyric poem, typically addressed to a particular subject or an elevated idea, meditative and enthusiastic in nature, following an irregular rhyme scheme, is called an Ode.
Hopefully, all these suggestions may help you write a critical appreciation of a poem. Read poems of different genres. Practise hard. Remember, practice makes a man perfect.