2 Outcomes In this lesson you will learn: How to read a poem Tips on how to effectively analyze a poemPoetic Techniques
3 Poetry – “Yuck????”Students are often apprehensive about the study of poetry.Poetry does not need to be a difficult task.Poetry can be your friend if you approach analysis in the right manner!
4 ExampleLet’s look at the following poem entitled “Dreams” by Langston HughesThis piece of literature is technically composed of two central poetic techniques. Hughes’ use of the two similes, merely attempt to convey an image of how life would be if a person did not have goals and dreams. The negative connotation associated with the ‘barren field’ and the ‘Broken-winged bird’ shows the reader that dreams are needed to complete ones’ life. While the poetic techniques may be perceived as a difficult task for students, the messages that can be derived are often enlightening and applicable to their own lives.
6 What is TP CASTT?An acronym of steps used to analyze poetry. The results of TPCASTT can be used to write an essay.The TPCASTT process is comprised of 7 steps which should be completed in the order given.
7 How does TPCASTT work?The TPCASTT method is used to analyze poetry for some reason specified by the analyst.The analyst will:ObserveInterpretInferAnalyzeEvaluate
8 Step 1: Title Goal- Attempt to predict what the poem will be about Ponder the title before reading the poem.Questions to ask yourself:What predictions can I make about the poemWhat feelings can I connect to the poem’s title?Write your response in a complete sentence
9 Step 2: Paraphrase Goal- Translate the poem, line by line, into your own words. Paraphrase the literary meaning/plot of the poem. A true understanding of the poem must evolve from comprehension or what’s going on in the poem.
10 Step 3: Connotation Goal- Contemplate the poem for meaning beyond the literal meaning. In poetry, connotation indicates that analyst should examine any and all poetic devices, focusing on how such devices contribute to the meaning, the effect, or both of a poem.Consider imagery, figurative language, symbolism, diction, point of view, and sound devicesYou will link these considerations to the overall meaning.
11 Step 4: Attitude Goal- Observe both the speaker’s and the poet’s attitude Having examined the poem’s devices and clues closely, now explore the multiple attitudes that may be present in the poem.Here you will describe the tone of the author and/or speaker. Recall how this is done…
12 Step 5: Shifts Goal-Note shifts in the speaker’s attitudes or emotions. Rarely does a poet begin and end the poetic experience in the same place. Discovery of a poet’s understanding of an experience is critical to the understanding of the poem. Trace the feelings of the speaker from the beginning to the end, paying particular attention to the conclusion
13 Look for the following to find shifts: 1. Key words (but, yet, however, although)2. Punctuation (dashes, periods, colons, ellipsis)3. Stanza division4. Changes in line or stanza length or both5. Irony (sometimes irony hides shifts)6. Effect of structure on meaning7. Changes in sound (rhyme) may indicate changes in meaning8. Changes in diction (slang to formal language)
14 Step 6: Title Goal-Examine the title again, this time on an interpretive level Questions to ask yourself:Why is the title “_____?”What does this mean?
15 Step 7: Theme Goal- Determine what the author is saying and wants me to learn and feel after reading the poem.Identify the theme by recognizing the human experience, motivation, or condition suggested by the poemThis step, within itself, has a system:Summarize the plotList the subject (s) of the poem (moving from literal subjects to abstract concepts such as war, death, discovery)Determine what the poet is saying about each subject. Write a complete sentence, making a statement and point about the subject (s).
16 Example of theme explication using the poem “Janet Walking” Plot: In “Janet Walking” Janet awakens one morning and runs to greet her pet chicken only to discover that a bee had stung and killed the bird. The discovery desolates Janet to such a degree that her father cannot comfort her. Subjects: 1. A child’s first experience of death 2. loss of a pet 3. innocence Themes: 1. Children become aware of the inevitability of death and are transformed by the knowledge. 2. The death of innocence is inevitable
17 In Short:First, you can’t read a poem JUST once. (Oftentimes an initial reading will be intimidating and overwhelming for a student) .2nd Reading of the poem -- take the poem line by line. This is the beginning of the analytical stage of the interpretation. Jot notes down in the margins to help you keep track of your own insights.Finally, answer the questions that have been assigned.With the time pressure associated with a public examination it is important to take any measure possible to alleviate this beginning fear.
18 Answering ELA Q’s topic sentence points of justification (3) a clinching sentence.
19 The Topic SentenceThe topic sentence is like a thesis in the fact that it opens the response and provides a framework for the rest of the response.
20 Points of Justification In dealing with the three points of justification it is important to note that simply providing examples is not sufficient. Include examples which are relevant and applicable to the question at hand. The relevance of each example needs to be explained fully by the student in order to verify their thesis.
21 Clinching (Concluding) Sentence The clinching sentence is the equivalence to a conclusion and is the last opportunity for students to tie together their ideas and beliefs.
22 Students by Tom Wayman p.24 (Echoes 12) answer questions #1, #3, #4 and #5 on p.30.These questions will require you to explore the following concepts:ConnotationsPoint of ViewIronyDiction