TP-CASTT • This is an acronym which is explained below. The TPCASTT method can be used as a format for writing a short analysis essay about a poem. Rely on what you find in the poem, what the words say, and how the poetic devices increase the meaning.
A Girl by Ezra Pound • The tree has entered my hands, The sap has ascended my arms, The tree has grown in my breast- Downward, The branches grow out of me, like arms. Tree you are, Moss you are, You are violets with wind above them. A child - so high - you are, And all this is folly to the world.
*Title • *Title--Think about the meaning of the title before reading the poem. • Example • Title • The title is about some girl the author is in love with.
*Paraphrase--Translate the poem into your own words • A tree has entered through my hand • The tree’s sap is going up my arm • The tree is growing in my chest and extending toward the ground • The branches come out of me just like arms • You are a tree • You are moss • You are flowers with wind blowing above you • You are a child and high in the sky • And none of this makes sense to the rest of the world
Connotation • *Connotation--Look for meaning in the poem beyond the paraphrase by finding all poetic devices such as: • Alliteration, rhyme scheme, simile, metaphor, personification, symbolism, diction – and much more
Symbolism – The tree symbolizes metamorphosis that people experience at various times of their life. It is unclear what stage of life the speaker or the subject, most likely his daughter, is at in the first stanza, but the speaker is observing physical, spiritual, or emotional changes that are occurring to the subject. In the second stanza, the speaker is observing the changes to the subject; however, it is more than just the parts of a tree used to symbolize the changes. Moss, flowers, and children symbolize the natural beauty and innocence of this transformation.
Metaphor – The tree is a metaphor for human growth. In the first stanza, the tree is a seed of the first speaker and slowly weaning him or herself from the life giver as indicated by the use of the word “out” in the last line. • Diction – The writer chooses words that have a close relationship to the natural world. There seems to be a clear distinction that humans are natural elements as well.
Attitude • *Attitude--What is the speaker's tone? What is the poet's tone? (They might not be the same.) • The first speaker’s tone seems to be flat or emotionless, and the speaker is merely observing the occurrences. The second speaker’s tone toward the subject of transformation seems to be nostalgic as the speaker is watching his seed grow to a full-fledged tree surrounded in beauty.
shifts • *Shifts--Point out the changes in who is speaking, or in tone, or subject/action. • There is a shift between stanza one and stanza two as the speaker observes the transformation or growth as being a part of him or her to being an independent entity full of beauty and innocence.
title • *Title--Think about the title again. Has the meaning of the title changed after studying the poem? • – The title, “A Girl”, is the only clue that the subject is most likely a little girl who has metaphorically separated from her mom and/or dad to become her own person. Although she is still young and innocent, she can now grow on her own accord.
*Theme--What is the poet trying to say? What idea is being communicated? (NOT what happened in the poem. Remember to avoid morals!) • – Through the poem “A Girl”, Ezra Pound demonstrates that spiritual, emotional, and physical growth is a process that cannot be separated from the natural world, and the transformative beauty is difficult to embrace in a material world such as the one we live in.