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TPCASTT Poetry Analysis Technique

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1 TPCASTT Poetry Analysis Technique
“I Died for Beauty” By Emily Dickinson

2 What SHOULD your poem look like after you have finished TPCASTTing it?
Title Paraphrase Connotation What SHOULD your poem look like after you have finished TPCASTTing it? TPCASTT Attitude Shifts Title (again) Theme of the poem


4 T -- Title Read the title of the poem
Predict what the poem will be about based on the title ONLY Do not begin reading the poem yet Write 3-4 sentences about your prediction

5 T -- Title I died because I was obsessed with beauty?
I looked at someone or something so beautiful it caused my death? Was a beauty queen murdered?

6 P – Paraphrase Translate the poem into your own words,
line by line if possible. Be sure to paraphrase using complete sentences. On average, you should have approximately one paragraph per stanza. (Next slide)

7 P – Paraphrase Your Turn
Paraphrase this poem, line by line or stanza by stanza. Keep in mind that it must be a COMPLETE translation. You must understand the poet’s literal meaning of the words.

8 P – Paraphrase First Stanza
A first person speaker has recently died and been laid to rest in a tomb. She obviously comes from a well-to-do family because her final resting spot is a tomb versus a grave. If she died for beauty, what kind of stand was she taking (inner beauty, art, history)? Shortly after being laid to rest, another person, who died for truth, was placed in a neighboring room.

9 P – Paraphrase Second Stanza
Sensing her presence, the new soul gently asks what led to her death. She responds, “Beauty,” and he replies back that he died for truth. He then states, “the two are one,” leading the reader to believe that standing up for your values and principles are sometimes more important than life itself. He also says that they are alike because they both were willing to sacrifice their lives for their values.

10 P – Paraphrase Third Stanza
The two quickly realize they are like souls. They continue to talk and form a friendship in the afterlife until the weeds cover their lips and their tomb. By that time, their families, friends, and society have forgotten about them as individuals. In addition, their purpose for failing, or dieing, has also been forgotten. Meaning nothing has changed and they died in vain.

11 C -- Connotation Look for poetic devices that go beyond the literal interpretation metaphor, simile, personification, alliteration, onomatopoeia, rhythm, rhyme scheme, symbolism, and diction Circle these devices and make margin notes about their meanings In this specific poem, you should be able to identify and explain at least three poetic devices

12 C -- Connotation Extended Metaphor – throughout the
entire poem Beauty and Truth are being compared Personification – Giving human characteristics to inanimate objects Her = Beauty / Him = Truth ABCB near rhyme scheme

13 A -- Attitude Observe either the speaker’s or the poet’s attitude
Attitude and tone are synonyms Attitude is an adjective There can be more than one Explain the attitude/tone of the poem

14 A -- Attitude SAD and SOMBER regarding death,
graveyard, and their failures CONTENTMENT due to the fact that they discover that they both died standing up for what was important to them

15 S -- Shift Identify any speaker shifts Identify any shifts in attitude

16 S -- Shift There is one speaker shift in the third stanza.
There are two speakers who continue their dialogue back and forth in the first two stanzas and refer to themselves as “I.” However, in the last stanza, they begin referring to themselves as “we” and “our.”

17 T – Title (again) Re-examine the title.
How does the title fit with the work as a whole? This time, you are interpreting the title, not just predicting or looking at it literally.

18 T – Title (again) “I Died for Beauty”
We don’t know specifically what aspect of beauty led to her death, but we know it was a cause she was willing to die for. We don’t even know specifically how she died.

19 T -- Theme Determine what the poet is saying
THIS IS NOT THE MORAL OF THE POEM Identify the theme by recognizing the human experience, motivation, or condition of the poem. One work may have several possible themes

20 Beauty and Truth are Parallels
T -- Theme Beauty and Truth are Parallels Each speaker died for ideals (Beauty/Truth) Each speaker is buried is similar conditions and within the same tomb Each speaker dies and decays at about the same time Both names are covered with the same moss

21 T -- Theme Friendship The two speakers bond as friends because they have similar causes and values Postmortem friendship makes a scary situation more bearable However, their bond is broken with the passage of time (i.e. moss reaches their lips, and their names are covered)

22 Title Paraphrase TPCASTT Connotation Attitude Shifts Title (again)
What does YOUR poem look like now that you have finished TPCASTTing it? TPCASTT Attitude Shifts Title (again) Theme of the poem


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