20 Poetry Research Paper Topics and Ideas

Topics and ideas
Posted on March 13, 2019

It may seem that poetry is difficult to study, research, and even read sometimes due to its numerous genres, writers, and forms. Poetic styles are indeed innumerable, and artistic movements that existed throughout history were represented by many talented and poets, yet poetry as a discipline is still a fascinating subject to study. Therefore, by researching poetry, one can get acquainted with its multiple subgenres, techniques, forms, themes, and those people who create those pieces. Moreover, studying poetry boosts one’s creativity, broadens the worldview, develops writing, reading, and speaking skills, as well as helps to learn to look at things from a different perspective. Finally, reading poetry is an aesthetically pleasing experience. Thus, writing essays is one of the parts of studying poetry, and this subject can be researched in numerous ways.

When a professor asks you to write an essay on poetry, it is essential first to decide on a topic. Taking into account that this discipline is a rather extensive one, it may be puzzling for a student to choose what to write about. You can either dwell on a specific period of time, and all the works and poets connected with it or select a particular figure or verse to analyze. Besides, an essay can focus on a comparison of two poets or artistic movements, examine the thematic context of the work or dwell on someone’s biography. Consequently, you have numerous possibilities when deciding on a topic of a poetry research paper, and if you have difficulties with choosing a definite one, this list of topics may be helpful.

Topics and Ideas for Poetry Research Paper

Below you can find the topics for the poetry research paper:

1. Sylvia Plath’s poetry

This essay should focus on both the life of Sylvia Plath and her writing. Thus, you can mention some key facts from her biography, the literary movement she belonged to, and the most notable works. Next, it would be great to analyze her writing techniques based on some of her poems.

2. The poetry of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg’s impact

Dwell on the history of the appearance of the Beat movement, its most celebrated representatives, and the key ideas and positions of the Beat Generation. Then, connect this data to the life and activity of Allen Ginsberg, who was one of the leading figures of the movement. Mention his social and political activism and influence on the overall activity of the Beat poets.

3. Peculiarities of Shakespeare’s sonnets

Shakespeare’s sonnets remain the most significant examples of poetry, which does not lose relevance and value. Therefore, enumerate the central characteristics of the sonnets, such as rhyme scheme, structure, meter, as well as main characters and themes. Provide some specific examples for each peculiarity and then compare how those sonnets differ from contemporary poetry.

4. The use of allusions in poetry

First, you can provide a definition of an allusion and mention some examples of it. Then, you also can analyze specific poems that contain allusions or write about the poets that preferred to include those devices in their works. Finally, write about the role of allusions and the effects that they create when used in specific contexts.

5. The analysis of Charles Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil

Dwell on Baudelaire’s life and work; mention his other works and the literary movement he belonged to. Next, briefly describe the history of the collection’s creation, and then talk about its peculiarities, the number of poems, the theme, and mention the sections it is broken up into. You can also focus on each part separately and write about the messages they carry.

6. Prose poetry and its main features

Since poetry is not solely about rhyme, and it can have a form of prose, dwell on the main differences between the former and the latter and mention those poets that preferred to write in prose. You can also state the difference between prose and prose poetry, as those are also two different notions. Finally, describe the essential characteristics of prose poetry, paying attention to details.

7. Poetry and feminism

Focus on the history of the appearance of feminist poetry, factors that influenced its creation, central figures, and most celebrated pieces. Furthermore, the ideas and positions of the poets are also worth mentioning. Discuss both feminist poetry of the past and the present and decide upon the central features of both.

8. Jazz poetry: from past to present

Jazz can be discussed not only in the context of music but also as a separate genre of poetry. Thus, provide a detailed definition of the notion, talk about its creation, and include the data about its fundamental features. Dwell on its development during the Harlem Renaissance and the Beat Generation as well as modern times.

9. French poetry of the 19th century

While writing an essay on this topic, make sure you provide information about Romanticism and those poets that influenced the movement. You could research those ideas and visions that had the most significant impact on the creation of the poems. Moreover, it is necessary to discuss the most outstanding writers of the period, their collections of works, and the most remarkable events that had some impact on the movement.

10. Nature and history of Japanese haiku

In this essay, define haiku and talk about its origin and development. Then, enumerate the key figures connected with this type of poetry, such as Buson, Issa, Shiki, and Basho. Finally, this essay can also include data about the form of haiku, its meter, and the number of lines.

11. Poets of symbolism

Numerous poets represent Symbolism, and your task is to discuss their work. Yet, the initial step is to mention what Symbolism is, its history of appearance, and the essential characteristics. After that, you can proceed to analyze the works of such poets as Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, or Arthur Rimbaud. You are free to choose any other poets if you want, yet those three are considered to be the most outstanding figures of the movement.

12. Who needs poetry?

Discuss your personal understanding of the question while relying on the statements made by acclaimed scholars or poets. You can talk about the practical applications of poetry or focus solely on its aesthetic side. All in all, the person reading your essay should understand the role of poetry in the life of humanity.

13. Emily Dickinson and Gospel Poems

Before writing about Dickinson’s work, dwell on her life path by mentioning the most important details from her life, such as her origin, movements she was involved in, and her most notable works. Even though Dickinson wrote numerous poems, your task is to research the Gospel poems. Thus, define the notion, give examples of those poems, and write about the reception of them in society.

14. The Poetry of the Romantic Period

In this essay, include the definition of Romanticism, its origin, and a brief outline of its development. Enumerating the poets that were involved in the movement is vital, yet choose two or three of them for your thorough analysis. After selecting the poets, focus on the techniques they used, ideas and themes of their poems, as well as how their works represent the overall character of the period.

15. Edgar Allan Poe and his philosophy of poetry

Even though Edgar Allan Poe is a widely known figure, there still is a lot to discover about him. Therefore, try to find the information that may be unknown for an ordinary person; discuss his vision of poetry in details. You may include some citations from his works to illustrate your arguments, as well as dwell on his writing techniques and style.

16. Main themes of Walt Whitman’s poetry

Before writing about the themes, write about Whitman’s life, legacy, and style. Then, enumerate the themes and try to find those poems that can be applied to illustrate them. For instance, mention that the poem “Ashes of Soldiers” dwells on the theme of war. Finally, you can also cite some of his poems that most apparently illustrate particular themes.

17. Spoken word poetry in the 21st century

Before writing the essay, you can search for the performances of the contemporary poets on YouTube to get inspired. It can help you chose those artists that you will mention in your essay and analyze. For instance, you can write about Sarah and Paul Kay, Neil Hilborn, and others. Finally, write about modern contests of spoken word poetry and its perception in society.

18. The impact of John Keats on poetry

This essay can include the data about Keats’ biography, most outstanding works, and his writing techniques. Furthermore, dwell on his impact on the world of poetry in the past and on his perception in the 21st century. You can also write about the letters he wrote, as those influenced a number of other poets of that time.

19. Is rhyme an essential element of any poem?

Enumerate the critical elements of poetry. Since rhyme is not among them, explain why it is not as important as other elements. In your work, you can mention free verse, prose poetry, and those poets that did not use rhyme in their works. Discuss the structure of free verses and provide examples of the most notable pieces.

20. Blank vs. free verse

These types of verse are frequently being confused, and your task is to help ordinary people understand the difference between the two. Thus, enumerate the key elements and characteristics of each of them, do not forget to dwell on their differences and similarities, and find examples to support your statements.

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Contrary to prose, the distinctive trait of poetry is that the verses are not supposed to narrate the plot but to evoke strong feelings. Consider this when choosing the topic for your research paper. Which poem touched every fiber of your soul? This poem has all the chances to become a subject for your research.

Some Extra Literature Research Paper Topics

Are you seeking some ideas for your research paper about poetry? Look nowhere else! The following list of research topics offers numerous suggestions to get you started. There is something for everyone, from studying specific poems to examining poetry’s place in society. Don’t be scared to think outside the box and select a topic that is all your own. 

  • Poetry analysis. It lies in assessing the poem’s language, meaning, and structure.
  • Analysis of individual poems. Here, you focus on a certain poem and discuss its literary devices, context, and themes.
  • Study of various poets or poetic movements. It turns to the development of a particular poetic style or movement or the work of a single poet or group of poets.
  • Poetry’s role in society. Explores the social and cultural relevance of poetry, particularly how it affects identity, politics, and history. 
  • Metaphor’s use in contemporary poetry. Appeals to different approaches that poets use to express intricate concepts and feelings in modern poetry via metaphors.
  • Analysis of the use of form by poets to convey meaning. It examines how elements of poetry form, like meter, rhyme, and repetition, affect a poem’s content.
  • Examination of the role of poetry in political movements throughout history. Explores the ways in which poetry has been used to inspire political change and resistance.
  • Exploration of the process of writing poetry itself. Examines the creative process of writing poem, including the ways in which poets draw inspiration and develop their ideas.
  • Research into the ways in which poets draw inspiration and develop their ideas. Explores the various sources of inspiration that poets draw from, including personal experience, culture, and history.
  • Analysis of different techniques that writers use to create effective poems. Examines the literary devices, such as imagery, symbolism, and figurative language, that poets use to create effective poems.
  • Exploration of the different ways in which poets use language and imagery to create meaning. Focuses on the ways in which poets use language and imagery to convey complex ideas and emotions.
  • Research into the ways in which different cultures and historical periods have approached the art of poetry. Examines the ways in which poetry has been approached and valued across different cultures and historical periods.
  • Essays on poetry: Examines poetry as a literary form and explores its cultural and historical significance.
  • Writing about the role of literature in shaping cultural identity. Explores the ways in which literature reflects and strengthens cultural backgrounds.
  • Examination of the ways in which different genres of literature have evolved over time. Explores the evolution of specific literary genres, such as the novel, drama, or poetry, over time.
  • Analysis of the representation of gender and sexuality in literature. Examines the ways in which gender and sexuality are represented in literature, including the ways in which literature can challenge and subvert traditional gender roles and norms.

Keep in mind that these are merely some starter concepts. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when coming up with ideas for your original literary research paper topics. Enjoy your research!

Pro tip

One more piece of advice for your choice of topic is to play with the research scale. For instance, the study of metaphors is smaller than the exploration of the writing itself. Consider what volume of data you are ready to comprehend and set it as a basic criterion for poetry research.

Step-by-step Instructions for Writing the Poetry Research Paper

It can be challenging to write a research paper about poetry if you are given the assignment. But if you take the appropriate method, you can divide it into manageable steps. The following is a step-by-step tutorial on how to write an effective poetry research paper:

Step 1. Select a topic

 Choose a poem or group of poems that interest you. Make sure it is a good topic that you can research and write about in depth.

Step 2. Research

Gather information about the poet, the poem’s historical context, and any critical analysis that has been written about the poem.

Step 3. Develop a Thesis

Based on your research, develop a clear and concise thesis statement that will guide your poems analysis.

Step 4. Organize your Paper

Create an outline that includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Make sure each paragraph supports your thesis.

Step 5. Write your Paper

Use your outline to write a clear and well-supported poetry analysis. Make sure to use specific examples from the poem to support your analysis.

Step 6. Edit and Revise

Once you have written your paper, go back and revise it for clarity, grammar, and style.

Step 7. Cite your Sources

Make sure to properly cite any sources you used in your research.

These guidelines will help you create an effective poetry research paper that will impress your teachers and classmates.

Poetry Research Topics

Tips on How to Choose a Stunning and Viable Poetry Research Paper Topic

Finding a topic for a research essay on poetry can be difficult. In addition to being fascinating and captivating, your topic should allow for in-depth study and writing. Here are some ideas to aid you in selecting an appealing and sensible subject for your poetry research paper:

  1. Look for inspiration. Start by reading a variety of poems and poets to get a sense of what interests you. Look for poems that spark your curiosity or that you find particularly moving.
  2. Consider the poet’s life and historical context. Research the poet’s life and the historical context in which they wrote. This can provide valuable insights into the poem and give you ideas for research topics in literature.
  3. Find a unique angle. Look for a unique angle or perspective on the poem. This can help you stand out and make your research paper more interesting to read.
  4. Brainstorm. Make a list of potential topics and research questions. This can help you narrow down your options and find a topic that you are passionate about.
  5. Consult with your professor or classmates. Talk to your professor or classmates for ideas and feedback. They may have suggestions or insights that you haven’t considered.

By using these suggestions, you can pick a beautiful and sensible subject for your poetry research paper that will let you explore your hobbies and demonstrate your research abilities. So take your time, do your research and enjoy the process of exploring the wonderful world of poetry.


Hence, writing a poetry research paper is not as complicated as it may seem. The key to writing a proper essay is choosing a topic that fascinates you and that you personally want to research. After doing it, make sure that you focus on all the fundamental details, such as historical events, dates, as well as notable poets and their works. When analyzing poems, pay attention to their rhyme, rhythm, meter, form, and the techniques applied by the authors. Besides, you can always refer to various books and scholarly articles related to your topic and cite them to support your arguments. Therefore, after reading the list of topics and ideas, you may choose the one suitable for you and either leave as it is and research it or alter it according to your preference or the task. If you need professional help from a research paper writer, don’t hesitate to contact our service immediately.

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