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TP-CASTT Practice E MMETT T ILL ’ S G LASS -T OP C ASKET By Cornelius Eady.

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Presentation on theme: "TP-CASTT Practice E MMETT T ILL ’ S G LASS -T OP C ASKET By Cornelius Eady."— Presentation transcript:

1 TP-CASTT Practice E MMETT T ILL ’ S G LASS -T OP C ASKET By Cornelius Eady

2 Title “E MMETT T ILL ’ S G LASS -T OP C ASKET ”  Reread it. Just look at it. Don’t try to be all artistic and read something more into it. Simply note your initial impression.  What immediately pops into your head?  Any guesses as to what the poem is about?  This step is important—your initial impression of the title vs. your final impression can reveal a lot about the poem itself.

3 Paraphrase  Don’t try to interpret the poem here—not just yet.  Simply “translate” into simpler language.  Don’t skip any sentences or words.  The purpose of this step is to focus your attention on the action, the story, the “gist” of the poem.

4 Let’s Do This! By the time they cracked me open again, topside, abandoned in a toolshed, I had become another kind of nest. Not many people connect possums with Chicago, but this is where the city ends, after all, and I float still, after the footfalls fade and the roots bloom around us. The fact was, everything that worked for my young man Some people found me, but by the time they opened me up, I had been abandoned in a toolshed and became a nest. People don’t usually think of possums when they think of Chicago, but where I was found is at the end of the city, and I’m still there, just hanging around long after the people are gone and weeds and flowers come up around me. Truthfully, what I was built for worked great for the young man I contained

5 Your Turn! worked for my new tenants. The fact was, he had been gone for years. They lifted him from my embrace, and I was empty, ready. That’s how the possums found me, friend, dry-docked, a tattered mercy hull. Once I held a boy who didn’t look like a boy. When they finally remembered, they peeked through my clear top. Then their wild surprise.

6 Paraphrase Part Deux This is a good place to identify the speaker. Don’t be satisfied with “young man” or “child”. That may be the speaker, but try to identify what the speaker is going through or what the situation is: “child watching waves destroy his sandcastle”… Who (or what) is the speaker of this poem?

7 Connotation Look for words which:  Cause an emotional or strong reaction  Stand out because of unusual usage  Appear to be related to the subject or title of the poem Identify these words and:  Determine their significance  Examine the type of feelings they evoke  Determine how they reflect the subject  Explain why the speaker is using those words at that time

8 Connotation: the words I find interesting…. By the time they cracked me open again, topside, abandoned in a toolshed, I had become another kind of nest. Not many people connect possums with Chicago, but this is where the city ends, after all, and I float still, after the footfalls fade and the roots bloom around us. The fact was, everything that worked for my young man worked for my new tenants. The fact was, he had been gone for years. They lifted him from my embrace, and I was empty, ready. That’s how the possums found me, friend, dry-docked, a tattered mercy hull. Once I held a boy who didn’t look like a boy. When they finally remembered, they peeked through my clear top. Then their wild surprise.

9 Attitude  Keep in mind that the poet and the speaker are not necessarily the same.  Still, it may be helpful to know a little about the poet’s background. After all, poets are like any other writers in that they write about what they know.  Reflect on the connotation of the words. At least try to figure out if the connotations are positive or negative—or if they are ironically positive or negative.

10 Attitude Part Dos Cornelius Eady: From Wikipedia: Cornelius Eady (born 1954) is an American poet focusing largely on matters of race and society, particularly the trials of the African-American race in the United States. His poetry often centers around jazz and blues, family life, violence, and societal problems stemming from questions of race and class. His poetry is often praised for its simple and approachable language.poetracesocietyAfrican-AmericanUnited Statesjazzblues

11 Bonus Information You may find yourself wondering what inspired the poet to write this poem. Here’s a link to a news item that you may find interesting…. is-emmett-tills-coffin-where-are-the- babyland-graves-.html

12 Shifts Usually characterized by a change in mood or tone. Here’s what to look for:  A new stanza  Transition words (but, yet, however)  Change in diction  Change in speaker  Unusual punctuation

13 Can you identify any shifts? By the time they cracked me open again, topside, abandoned in a toolshed, I had become another kind of nest. Not many people connect possums with Chicago, but this is where the city ends, after all, and I float still, after the footfalls fade and the roots bloom around us. The fact was, everything that worked for my young man worked for my new tenants. The fact was, he had been gone for years. They lifted him from my embrace, and I was empty, ready. That’s how the possums found me, friend, dry-docked, a tattered mercy hull. Once I held a boy who didn’t look like a boy. When they finally remembered, they peeked through my clear top. Then their wild surprise.

14 Title (Again!) “E MMETT T ILL ’ S G LASS -T OP C ASKET ”  Re-examine the title.  Before, it was just a surface examination. Now you can apply your analysis to it.  Look over your original guess/interpretation and see if you still agree.  What are the differences between the surface meaning and the deeper meaning? Is there use of an extended metaphor or conceit?  Does the title use any allusions, alliteration, metaphors which apply to the deeper meaning of the poem?  In the context of the poem, does the title suggest a possible theme?

15 Theme  Themes are best stated in sentence form: “love” isn’t very specific; “love conquers all” is better.  What’s the subject?  Who is the speaker, what situation are they in, and how do they feel about the situation?  Is there more than one speaker or attitude about the subject? Why?  How does the poet’s use of word choice and other poetic devices help the reader better understand the poem?

16 Finally… …and now you should have an interpretation of the poem that you can back up with supporting details. It may or may not be what the poet was attempting to express, but at least you can support your interpretation intelligently.


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