Poetry Terms

What is Theme?

Theme is a subject of discourse, discussion, mediation, or composition; a topic. In a poem, A poem may have a theme such as a certain color, an animal, something that may have happened to the author. In a poem, the theme is often reoccurring and is easy to pick out. Most, if not all, of the poem has some relation to the theme. For example, if someone was to write a poem about cats, then the poem may have lines such as "they love to drink milk and pounce at passing feet" and "a stroke to their soft fur will have them purring in moments". Below is a poem, by James Horner. Try and figure out the theme.

Pink skies
and butterflies
are truly a
sight to see,

But pink-eye
be no fun
for me.

Grapefruit pulp,
the salmon's flesh,
in a vase,

Pink elephant
with candy
as the cause.

Stop and think
about the pink
that's everyday
around you,

Ballerina sister,

a bouncing twister,
around the house
in her tutu.

That poem was titled Pink, which, if you couldn't tell, was the theme of the poem. Underlined are all the words that could give you a hint at the theme of the poem. As you can see, the author has included multiple things that are pink, as well as the way it ties into everyday life, a very good example of theme in a poem.