Example Of Paraphrasing A Poem

Use an Example of Paraphrasing a Poem as a Guide to Paraphrase

Paraphrasing a poem is usually done as a way to better understand the poem. Often a poem may use syntax and words that are a bit confusing, and a good method to gain better understanding is by paraphrasing a poem. Example paraphrased poems are written in modern prose to help gain a better understanding of the literal meaning of the words. The exact intention of what the poet means can’t be completely conveyed through prose in many cases. Looking at an example of paraphrasing a poem is useful before paraphrasing a poem yourself.


Some Guidelines for Paraphrasing a Poem

Paraphrasing a poem is a new experience for many students. The following are a few paraphrasing tips that may be useful:

  • Write in modern prose and change as many of the original words as possible without altering meaning.
  • Write in the same person and tense as the original poem is written in.
  • Paraphrased poems are usually longer than the original due to the need to clearly explain what each line means.

To learn how to paraphrase a poem, example paraphrased poems can be compared to the original. An example of paraphrasing a poem is shown here:

Original poem “All Things Can Tempt Me” by W. B. Yeats

All things can tempt me from this craft of verse:

One time it was a woman’s face, or worse—

The seeming needs of my fool-driven land;

Now nothing but comes readier to the hand

Than this accustomed toil….

Paraphrased version of “All Things Can Tempt Me” by W. B. Yeats

Anything can distract me from writing poetry

Once I was distracted by a woman’s face, but I was even more distracted

By the requirements of my country which is governed by idiots.

At this point in my life I find any task easier

Than the work I’m used to doing

Original poem “The Secret Heart”

“Across the years he could recall
His father one way best of all.”

“In the stillest hour of night
The boy awakened to a light.”

“Half in dreams, he saw his sire
With his great hands full of fire.”

“The man had struck a match to see
If his son slept peacefully.”

Paraphrased poem “The Secret Heart”

As the boy got older,

he kept one image of his beloved father.

One night, the boy was suddenly woken up

by a source of light he got up.

He was party awake and he saw an image

which looked like his father holding fire ablaze.

However, it was just because he did lit a match in order to look at him.

The way he held the match shows that the resulting light represents love against the dim.

While the curve of his hands look like heart.

So the boy felt that his dad showed his part

And the love was simply powerful to start.

On the face of his dad, there was intense love,

and it was best seen when he was half awake while looking above

It did last for a moment only,

But the son knew that that forever it will it be in his memory.

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