Example of Poem Analysis Essay

If you have literature course at your school, college or university, you will be definitely assigned a poem analysis essay. This task requires from a writer to be able to consider wording issues, their audial effect on the readers, as well as the form of the verse. I hope that the following poem analysis essay example will help you understand the task better and will give you an insight into the writing process.

The Depiction of the Flight in “Easter Wings” by George Herbert

George Herbert was a prominent British writer born in 1593 in Montgomery. “Easter Wings” is considered one of the best works of the poet. It was written in 1633, the year of the Herbert’s death. It is a poem of a religious character, which depicts the writer’s hope for better caused by Christ’s resurrection. The central place in the poem is dedicated to the process of flight, which is symbolically connected to resurrection. Flight is depicted in the poem with the help of the combination of different means, including verbal, visual and acoustic effects.

In order to put the additional value into the poem, the author used a specific form. First of all, the use of stanza resembles the wings of a bird. This symbol serves as the means of directing the audience to the sky and influencing their emotions in a positive way. Secondly, the author uses different length of the lines. This technique was aimed at showing the readers that the good prevails over the evil, as the long lines are full of joy and hope, while the short lines are filled with misery.

The acoustic effect of the poem is reached by combining the lines full of alliteration and assonance. For example, the repetition of consonants and vowels in some lines helps the audience feel the melody. This effect is clearly seen in the following lines of the poem:

  1. Affliction shall advance the flight in me. – The line is characterized by assonance;
  2. And still the sickness and shame. – The stress is made on the repetition of consonant letter “s”.

Such combination of vowels and consonants is used by the writer to create the effect of an endless flight.

In “Easter Wings”, the continuous flight of a bird is used as a symbol of transition from sin to Christ. The image of a bird is widely used in literature with such notions as peace, hope, death and evil. Consequently, Herbert also uses a bird as the way to combine heavenly and earthly aspects in the poem. 

In conclusion, in his poem “Easter Wings”, George Herbert depicts his personal feelings related to the resurrection using different symbols and writing techniques. The writer reaches his aim not only by using the symbolic image of a bird, but also by adding visual, verbal and audible effects. In addition, the effect of the poem is boosted by the use of a specific form of the poem, stanzas, and line length. Without doubt, “Easter Wings” is a real literature masterpiece.