I was always taught by teachers and others to first read through the poem at least twice, so that you can get an understanding for what the poem is about. Then, you can start taking notes about the poem. For example, what is the tone, does the tone change throughout the poem. Circle words that you may not know, because you can look them up and that can help with understanding the poem. Highlight words that stand out to you and draw lines to ideas that are connected. By first analyzing the poem it will be easier when you do read it because you will have a better understanding about what the author is trying to portray. Also, you can always ask others about what they think the tone is or what they think the main idea behind the poem is.