TP-CASTT Poetry Analysis Adapted from: 1/09 Poetry Unit: TP-CASTT – Blume (San Marcos High School) 1 repetition! onomatopoeia!
TP-CASTT is an ACRONYM for… T itle P araphrase C onnotation A ttitude S hift T itle T heme It is a method used to help us understand, appreciate, and communicate about poetry and the power of words. 2
First, let’s review some vocabulary: literal = means “exact” or “not exaggerated.” Literal language is language that means exactly what is said. Most of the time, we use literal language. figurative = the opposite of literal language. Figurative language is language that means more than what it says on the surface. Often used by poets and other writers. 3
Review vocabulary, continued: denotation = the dictionary definition of a word or phrase connotation = a meaning suggested by a word or phrase, in addition to its exact (denotative) meaning; can be the emotional feelings associated with the word denotativeconnotative Think of the denotative and connotative meanings of words such as home, mother, love, peace, friend, etc. 4
Use Resource 3.4 to record your answers to the following questions. 5
Title: George Gray by Edgar Lee Masters What predictions can you make about the poem from the title? 6
Title: George Gray by Edgar Lee Masters What predictions can you make about the poem from the title? Now read the poem. 7
George Gray by Edgar Lee Masters I have studied many times The marble which was chiseled for me— A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor. In truth it pictures not my destination But my life. For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment; Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid; Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances. Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life. And now I know that we must lift the sail And catch the winds of destiny Wherever they drive the boat. To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness, But life without meaning is the torture Of restlessness and vague desire— It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid. 8
9 Title: What are your initial (first) thoughts about the poem? What might be the theme of the poem?
Paraphrase: Describe what happens in the poem, in your own words. 10
Connotation: What might the poem mean beyond the literal level? Find examples of imagery, metaphors, similes, personification, symbolism, idioms, hyperbole, alliteration, rhyme scheme, rhythm, etc. and think about their possible connotative meanings. Consider the emotional feelings that the words may give the reader. 11
Attitude: Describe the tone of the poem. What is the poet’s attitude toward the subject of the poem? The speaker’s attitude? Find and list examples that illustrate the tone and mood of the poem (these show attitude). 12
Shift: Is there a shift (a change) in the tone or speaker of the poem? Where does the shift happen in the poem? What does it shift from and to? 13
Title: Look at the title again. Have your original ideas about the poem changed? How? What do you think the title means now? 14
Theme: What is the overall theme of the poem? What insight, understanding, lesson, or truth are we supposed to have after reading this poem? 15
Doing a TP-CASTT poem analysis will help you turn your observations into meaningful discussions or writing. You have noticed the details - now you can put them together in order to understand and talk about the poem much better. 16