How to Paraphrase a Poem
Paraphrasing a poem doesn’t take that long at all once you’ve learned how to do it. Here are a few tips on how to paraphrase a poem:
- Familiarise Yourself with the Poem – Before you attempt to paraphrase, make sure that you fully understand the poem’s message. Read it over and over until you’re familiar with it.
- Close the Poem – Once you understand its core message, close the poem and recite it in your head. You won’t recite it word for word; instead, you’ll replace some of the words with your own.
- Grab a Pen and Paper – Jot down some thoughts that spring to mind when you think about the poem.
- Write Down a First Draft – Now, write down a first draft of the poem, putting its message into your own words.
- Compare the Two Poems – Open up the poem and compare the two. If yours is too similar, make more changes.
- Do a Final Edit – Your sentence structure may need some work. Use this time to tight things up, and make sure everything flows.
Paraphrase Poem Professionally
Paraphrasing is both a skill and an art form. Essentially, when you paraphrase a poem, you are retaining the original meaning but altering the words so that the poem is now yours as opposed to someone else’s.
Instead of copying a poem outright, you’re putting your own spin on things and speaking in your own voice. Online paraphrasing also helps you to understand poetic techniques, and improves your form and vocabulary.
The Purpose of Poem Paraphrase
Paraphrasing is there to get us out of a tricky situation. If we’ve got an assignment due but the words and ideas simply won’t come, paraphrasing previously existing poetry saves the day.
The purpose of poem paraphrase is not to copy a poem outright, but to rearrange the words so that you’re writing in your own voice. You want to retain that core meaning, but you also want to make sure that your personality and character is coming across.
What and When to Paraphrase Poem
All literature students have been there. With deadlines looming and poems needing to be written, we’ve all burned the midnight oil trying to complete our poem.
But not all of us are gifted poets. When you’ve got to write a poem in just a few hours for class, it can be hard to come up with something original that is readable, flows beautifully and is basically awesome.
In such a situation, what do you do? You could continue slaving away trying to come up with an original poem – or you could paraphrase a poem by turning the words into your own while retaining the original meaning.
Paraphrasing poetry also helps to improve your form. If you’re struggling to come up with rhymes and rhythms, it’s a good idea to paraphrase the masters to get a better understanding of how poems flow.
Example of a Paraphrase Poem
Here is an example of a paraphrased poem: