I am new to this English Language Learners SE, so I wanted to ask if there were any consensus on asking about poem analysis and the figures of speech if the OP has done sufficient research and is looking for different perspectives. The poem I had in my mind was An Elementary Classroom in a Slum, by Stephen Spender

But of course, poets almost never reveal the meaning of their poems and as such, nearly every answer would be correct/appropriate, which is a no-no in Physics SE. And so I wanted to know if there is any consensus on encouraging posts regarding poem analysis, the different figures of speeches used, etc. Personally, I feel it would be a great way to attract traffic from highschoolers whose textbooks gives barely any clue on the poem.

  • Welp, I just noticed there have been only 3 posts this month on the meta... Commented Dec 1, 2021 at 16:10

2 Answers 2


It sounds as if you want the Literature Stack Exchange. Analysis of poetry is on-topic there.

  • you are right, the only English SE I searched were ELL and ELU, I wasn't aware of Literature SE Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 13:00
  • 2
    @AdilMohammed I am a moderator on Literature Stack Exchange and I can confirm that poem analysis is on topic there.
    – Tsundoku
    Commented Dec 10, 2021 at 22:20
  • @Tsundoku what is the format for asking poem analysis? can I just say "here's the poem A Thing of Beauty, i understand the idea at the beginning and that John Keats is a romanticist, but i cant understand anything else" Commented Feb 23, 2022 at 15:56
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    @AdilMohammed We had a question about the format of such questions in the early days of the site, but no format was actually suggested. For examples of questions about the interpretation of complete poems (as opposed to just a few lines), see the questions tagged interpretation.
    – Tsundoku
    Commented Feb 23, 2022 at 16:31
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    @AdilMohammed One of Literature SE's top answerers has posted advice on how to write up an interpretation question. This is just a guideline, not something the site enforces.
    – Tsundoku
    Commented Feb 23, 2022 at 21:13

From the help centre What topics can I ask about here?

Please don’t ask any questions about the following topics. They are out of scope for this site:


  • Criticism, discussion, and analysis of English literature (you may ask about the meaning of a sentence or passage you find in literature, but be sure you provide sufficient context and cite the source where this material was found)

Poetry is a form of literature. You might ask about the meaning of a word in context. But not about the interpretation of the poem. Of course there is a grey area. You might ask about "paper-seeming boy" and on ELL be told that it means "he seems like he is made of paper", and it is a simile. But not why he seems to be made of paper or what this implies about the boy, the school, the author's mindset or the implications for wider society.

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