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Poetry Analysis. Using TPCASTT as a Method for Poetic Analysis. What is TPCASTT?. TPCASTT is an acronym to help you when analyzing poetry. Just like with SIFTT and SOAPSTone , TPCASTT will help you remember to what you should pay close attention when reading poetry. TPCASTT stands for T itle

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Poetry Analysis


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    1. Poetry Analysis Using TPCASTT as a Method for Poetic Analysis

    2. What is TPCASTT? • TPCASTT is an acronym to help you when analyzing poetry. Just like with SIFTT and SOAPSTone, TPCASTT will help you remember to what you should pay close attention when reading poetry. • TPCASTT stands for • Title • Paraphrase • Connotation • Attitude • Shift • Title Revisited • Theme

    3. TITLE • The first thing you should ask yourself when analyzing the poem is, “what does the title mean?” • The title can tell you so much about the poem: what the poet was feeling when he wrote it, a clue into an extended metaphor, or an underlying meaning of the poem. • Before you even read the poem, make conjecture to yourself about what the poem could be about based solely on the title.

    4. Give It a Try… “On Reading Poems to a Senior Class at South High” • Based solely on this title, what do you think the poem could be about? • What could this title mean?

    5. PARAPHRASE • Before you being thinking about all of the underlying meanings, symbols, figurative language, and poetic elements (phew!), don’t forget to pay attention to what the poem means! • When you paraphrase the poem, put in your own words exactly what happens in the poem. • It is easiest to do this by taking the poem sentence by sentence. Your paraphrase should have the same amount of sentences as the poem.

    6. Let’s Try It With the Same Poem.. Before I opened my mouthI noticed them sitting thereas orderly as frozen fishin a package. Slowly water began to fill the roomthough I did not notice ittill it reachedmy ears and then I heard the soundsof fish in a aquariumand I knew that though I hadtried to drown themwith my wordsthat they had only opened uplike gills for themand let me in. Together we swam around the roomlike thirty tails whacking wordstill the bell rangpuncturinga hole in the door where we all leaked outThey went to another classI suppose and I home where Queen Elizabethmy cat met meand licked my finstill they were hands again. “On Reading Poems in a Senior Class at South High” by D.C. Berry

    7. Work On Your Own • Take a copy of the poem and try applying the first “T” and the “P” of TPCASTT to it. • Force yourself to not look at anything else but the title and a basic literal-meaning paraphrase.

    8. CONNOTATION • Usually this term means the emotional overtones of word choice. • For poetic analysis, this means any poetic devices used. • Focus on how the poetic devices contribute to the meaning and/or the effect of the poem. • The devices you identify should be seen as a way of supporting the conclusions you are going to draw about the poem.

    9. See What You Can Find… You are so young you heal as you weep, and your tears instead of scalding your face like mine absolve simply as rain. I tried to teach you what I knew: how men in their sudden beauty are more dangerous, how love refracting light can burn the hand, how memory is a scorpion and stings with its tail. You knew my catechism but never believed. Now you look upon pain as a discovery all your own, marveling at the way it invades the bloodstream, ambushes sleep. Still you forgive so easily. I'd like to take your young man by his curls and tear them out, who like a dark planet circles your bright universe still furnished with curtains you embroidered yourself, an underbrush of books and scarves, a door at which you'll soon be poised to leave. “Lullaby for 17” by Linda Pastan

    10. ATTITUDE • Examination of diction, images, and details suggests the speaker's attitude and contributes to understanding. • Remember that usually the tone or attitude cannot be named with a single word . Think complexity. • What is the speaker’s attitude? • How does the speaker feel about himself, about others, and about the subject? • What is the author’s attitude? • How does the author feel about the speaker, about other characters, about the subject, and the reader?

    11. Let’s look at this one again… You are so young you heal as you weep, and your tears instead of scalding your face like mine absolve simply as rain. I tried to teach you what I knew: how men in their sudden beauty are more dangerous, how love refracting light can burn the hand, how memory is a scorpion and stings with its tail. You knew my catechism but never believed. Now you look upon pain as a discovery all your own, marveling at the way it invades the bloodstream, ambushes sleep. Still you forgive so easily. I'd like to take your young man by his curls and tear them out, who like a dark planet circles your bright universe still furnished with curtains you embroidered yourself, an underbrush of books and scarves, a door at which you'll soon be poised to leave. “Lullaby for 17” by Linda Pastan

    12. SHIFT • Rarely does a poem begin and end the poetic experience in the same place. As is true of most us, the poet's understanding of an experience is a gradual realization, and the poem is a reflection of that understanding or insight. • Where do the shifts in tone, setting, voice, etc. occur? Look for time and place, keywords, punctuation, stanza divisions, changes in length or rhyme, and sentence structure. • What is the purpose of each shift? How do they contribute to effect and meaning?

    13. See If You Can Spot the Shift… “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks The Pool Players. Seven at the Golden Shovel. We real cool. We Left school. We Sing sin. We Thin grin. We Jazz June.We Die soon.

    14. TITLE AGAIN • Now look at the title again, but this time on an interpretive level. • What new insight does the title provide in understanding the poem? • What part does the title play in the overall interpretation of the poem?

    15. This is the poem we read when discussing title and paraphrase. After knowing what the poem is about, how does the title effect the overall interpretation? Before I opened my mouthI noticed them sitting thereas orderly as frozen fishin a package. Slowly water began to fill the roomthough I did not notice ittill it reachedmy ears and then I heard the soundsof fish in a aquariumand I knew that though I hadtried to drown themwith my wordsthat they had only opened uplike gills for themand let me in. Together we swam around the roomlike thirty tails whacking wordstill the bell rangpuncturinga hole in the door where we all leaked outThey went to another classI suppose and I home where Queen Elizabethmy cat met meand licked my finstill they were hands again. “On Reading Poems in a Senior Class at South High” by D.C. Berry

    16. THEME • What is the poem saying about the human experience, motivation, or condition? • What subject or subjects does the poem address? • What do you learn about those subjects? • What idea does the poet want you take away with you concerning these subjects?

    17. On your own paper, TPCASTT this poem. We will go over it together in a moment. last nightimcleanin out myhowardjohnsons ladies roomwhen all of a suddenup pops this frogmusta come from the sewerswimminaroun an tryintaclimb up the sida the bowlso i goes taflushm downbut sohelpmegod he starts talkinbout a golden ballan how i can be a princessme a princesswell my mouth dropsall the way to the flooran he sayskiss me just kiss meonce on the nosewell i screamsya little green pervertam ihitsm with my mopan has ta flushthe toilet down three timesmea princess “Hazel Tells LaVerne” by KatharynMchanAal