Title Ponder the title before reading the poem.
Paraphrase Translate the poem into your own words.
Connotation Contemplate the poem for meaning beyond the literal. Are there symbols? Imagery? Personification? Other poetic devices? Why do you think the poet used these poetic devices?
Attitude Observe the speaker’s and the poet’s attitude (tone). What is the speaker’s tone? What is the poet’s tone? Do the speaker and the poet’s tone have to be the same?
Shifts Note shifts in speakers and in attitudes Point out changes in who is speaking or in the tone. Does the attitude/tone switch gears?
Title Think about the title again. Has the meaning of the title changed after studying the poem?
Theme What is the poet trying to say? What idea is being communicated (not a summary of what happened in the poem)?
Use TP-CASTT! TP-CASTT can be used to help you determine what you think a poet is trying to say in their poetry. Rely on what you find in the poem, what the words say and how the poetic devices increase the meaning.