is a metrical composition characterized by strong imagination, emotion, significant and appropriate language. The following are the items to be considered in criticism of the poem:
In the criticism of any literary work, we have to consider two elements that are content
. Under these elements, we have to analyze the sub elements of both elements. In the content
, we have to analyze the following items, those are; message
and in form
, we have to analyze the following items, these are; th
e type a poem, the structure (form) of a poem, the language used or diction, the type of poetry, the tone of the poet, the mood of the persona and the relevance of a poem
Starting with conten
t, under this content, we have to criticize the following items;
refers to central idea in literary works. Under this item, we have considered the main idea of the poet. It said that literature is taken from the society where the problems exist. Therefore, every poem has various themes such as, exploitation, classes, poverty, oppression, selfishness, colonialism mentioned a few. So the presence of the themes, it gives us the room to comment that the poet has succeeded to portray the evils which are in the society.
On other hand, we have to criticize the message, therefore message
refers to what we have learned in the poem, under this we have to judge if the poet has succeeded to reveal the message to readers or no. since the poem tends teach the readers and failure to do so, we can consider that the poet has failed to convey the message to readers.
The last item to criticize the poem is form
, under this we have to criticize the following items;
The type of the poem
, under this item, we have to consider the appearance of the poem, if the poem has composed without following its rules, we can say the poem is free verse/open/modern poem. If the poem composed by following its rules, we can judge the poem is traditional/closed poem/rhythmical poem.
The structure (form) of the poem
, under this item, we have to judge the number of the stanzas composed in the poem and to describe number of the verses composed from each stanza. For example, if the poem composes of four stanzas and each stanza composed of five verses, we have to comment that, the poem composed of four stanzas and each stanza composed of five verses. Also under this item, we have to judge the rhymes which found in the poem if are present.
The language use/diction
, under this item, we have to comment the nature of the language used in the poem. It is advisable that, either the language is simple or difficult, we have to comment the language is simple regardless it is difficult to you or not, since the language used is English which is medium of instructions of all Tanzania secondary schools. Also, if the poem has composed of two different languages, we have to comment, the poem has barbaric language
by mentioning the languages used and its effect to readers, for example from the poem of YOU ARE LOST, the poet has used barbaric language (Swahili and English language)
, this can cause the reader who does not know Swahili language not to get the intended message. And also we have to comment on the figures of speech, symbols
and imagery (literary devices)
if and only if are present in the poem.
The type of the poetry
, under this item, we have to criticize the type of poetry used in the poem, we have only three main type of poetry such as lyric
and dramatic poetry
but all remain types come from these three types of poetry for example, sonnet, elegy, a pastoral, and descriptive poetry come from lyric because are very short, poetry like song of Lawino and Ocol comes from dramatic poetry, and ballad and epic poetry come from narrative poetry this because both tell the story.
The tone of the poet
, here we have to consider the attitude of the poet toward the poem. The attitude of the poet depends on the nature of the poem talks about. For example the attitude of the poet can be angry and sad etc if and only if the poem talk’s bad things to society such as colonialism, bad leadership and also the poet can be happy if the poem talks about good things to society such as praising about a lover.
The mood of the persona,
also here we have to consider the attitude of the persona, and this depend on the nature of the poem, if the poem talks about the bad things to character in the poem, automatically the persona will be angry, and sad since all things talks in the poem face him/her in his/her society and will be happy if the poem talks about good things face him/her in his/her society for example the poem of I LOVE YOU, MY GENTLE ONE.
The last item is, relevance of the poem
, here we consider that, if all things written in the poem are present in society or not, if are present, we have to state the poem is relevant to society by giving the reasons and if are not present, we have to state the poem is not relevant to society by giving reasons, however we don’t expect to have the poem which is not relevant to society.
, the above are the lists of the items which should be used in the criticism of the poem.