The primary concept is the focus of the poetry. It is not a summary because it lacks numerous precise information. The fundamental idea is the concept that all of the little details support. Raise your RPMs to identify the core concept.
Now, apply this understanding to the first two lines of the poem: "Love is eternal" and "Love is infinite". These two lines alone contain many concepts that might be missed initially. First, love is eternal - which could mean that love exists forever or that love can never be destroyed. Second, love is infinite - which could mean that love has no limits or that there are an unlimited number of things that love can feel like.
If you think about it, every line in the poem contains both a subject and a verb. This means that each line has a specific idea or concept being raised. For example, the first line raises the concept of love. The second line raises the concept of eternity. The third line raises the concept of infinity. And so on.
As you read the poem, try to identify what topic is being raised in each line. You will then have a better understanding of how the poet brings together various ideas in order to create a complete picture of love.
The topic of a poem, or 'what it's about,' is the fundamental notion of the poem. Although many people object to poems being 'about' something, the poet had something in mind when they were written, and that something is the core concept, whatever it is or could have been. For example, in "This Is Just To Say" by Charles Bukowski the central concept is friendship.
Some poets write about their personal experiences to comment on society or life in general, but even these poets are trying to say something new or interesting about what they have experienced. For example, Emily Dickinson wrote several poems about her feelings for other women after losing her first love to death during the American Civil War. These poems are critical of her culture's treatment of women at the time, but they also reveal much about her own personality and experience as a human being.
Finally, some poets write purely abstract pieces about ideas or concepts without referring to any actual events in their lives. These poems are usually not considered to be about anything specifically, but rather use language effectively to make us think about certain subjects. For example, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a poetic drama about greed and revenge that uses strong language to create a mood before it tells its story.
A poetry summary is more akin to a commentary in that it allows you to discuss what binds your collection together and the issues covered in your poems. It might identify spots where your attention has wandered or where implausibility has crept in.
A good poetry summary should never be longer than one page. If you can't summarize on one page, then you need to re-examine yourself!
Here are some examples of good poetry summaries:
John Donne's "Elegy XV" serves as an excellent example of a poetic summary because it not only describes the tragic death of a young man but also explores grief and loss through four distinct stanzas. The first two stanzas focus on the emotional pain experienced by the poet over the death of his friend while the second two explore other ways in which people deal with loss.
William Wordsworth's "Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood" provides another great example of a poetic summary because it not only expresses his feelings about nature but also looks at the role that memory plays in inspiring us to live our lives passionately.
Mary Shelley's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" can be considered a summary in itself since it tells the story of how one night's passion leads to violence and death.