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TPS-FASTT. A Method for Poetry Analysis. TPS-FASTT. TPS-FASTT is an acronym that stands for: Title Paraphrase Speaker Figurative Language Attitude (Tone) Shift Title Theme

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tps fastt


A Method for Poetry Analysis

tps fastt1
  • TPS-FASTT is an acronym that stands for:
    • Title
    • Paraphrase
    • Speaker
    • Figurative Language
    • Attitude (Tone)
    • Shift
    • Title
    • Theme
    • Following this format gives you a clear and formulaic way to analyze poetry that might otherwise be confusing or difficult
  • Examine the title before reading the poem.
  • Sometimes the title will give you a clue about the content of the poem.
  • In some cases the title will give you crucial information that will help you understand a major idea within the poem.
  • Means “to put into your own words.”
  • Paraphrase the literal action within the poem.
  • At this point, resist the urge to jump to interpretation.
  • A failure to understand what happens on a literal level leads to a misunderstanding of what is happening on a figurative level.
  • Who is the speaker in this poem?
  • Remember to always distinguish speaker (narrator) from the poet (author).
    • In some cases the speaker and poet might be the same, as in an autobiographical or “confessional” poem, but often the speaker and the poet are entirely different.
    • More often than not, the poet writes from the point of view of someone or something else.
  • It is also important to identify who the intended audience is.
figurative language
Figurative Language
  • Examine the poem for language that is not used literally.
  • This would include-- but is certainly not limited to-- specific literary devices pertaining to figurative language, such as:
    • imagery, symbolism, metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole
  • Sound devices
    • alliteration, onomatopoeia, assonance, consonance, rhyme
  • and any other devices used in a non-literal manner.
  • You also want to pay attention to the connotative association surrounding specific stanzas, lines, or words.
  • Tone, meaning the speaker's ATTITUDE towards the SUBJECT of the poem.
  • Of course, this means that you must discern the subject of the poem.
    • In some cases it will be narrow, and in others it will be broad.
  • Also keep in mind the speaker's attitude toward self, other characters, and the subject, as well as attitudes of characters other than the speaker.
  • Identify “tone” words or “charged” words that reveal the speaker’s attitude.
  • Note shifts (switches) in speaker and attitude.
  • Shifts can be indicated in a number of ways, including:
    • the occasion of poem (time and place)
    • key turn words (but, yet, then, etc.)
    • punctuation(dashes, periods, colons, etc.)
    • stanza divisions
    • changes in line and stanza length
    • and anything that indicates that something has changed or a question is being answered.
  • Examine the title again, this time on an interpretive level
  • First list what the poem is about (subject) than determine what the poet is saying about each of those subjects (theme).
  • Remember, theme must always be expressed in a complete sentence or statement.
    • Example:
      • “FREEDOM” is not a theme.
      • “Fighting for freedom is an honorable and noble act.” This would be a theme.
putting it into practice
Putting it into Practice
  • Following the TPS-FASTT format, we will now delve into some poetry.
  • In addition to identifying specific literary elements, you will also write up a TPS-FASTT analysis of the poems.