Poetry Analysis Using TPCASTT

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TP-FASTT Poetry Analysis

a.k.a. a way to figure out what the heck a poem might mean

Getting Started…

• This is a process to help you organize your analysis of poetry.

• We have already learned the vocabulary that applies to poems--now it’s time to put it into practice!

TP-FASTT

TP-FASTT is an acronym that helps us analyze poems through seven simple steps

(each letter represents one step of analysis)

By looking at each smaller part individually and then at the poem altogether, it can help us make some sense of what the poem might be about!

Let’s try it together…

• T

• P

• F

• A

• S

• T

• T

TP-FASTT ‘American Hero’

T is for TITLE

Analyze the title first.

PREDICT

what this poem will be about?

• Write down your predictions.

• We will reflect on the title again after we have read the poem; this simple step helps us think about what the poet may be implying in their titles.

READ THE POEM!!!!

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American Hero

I have nothing to lose tonight.

All my men surround me, panting, as I spin the ball above our heads on my middle finger.

It’s a shimmering club light and I’m dancing, slick in my sweat.

Squinting, I aim at the hole fifty feet away. I let the tension go.

Shoot for the net. Choke it.

I never hear the ball slap the backboard. I slam it through the net. The crowd goes wild for our win. I scored thirty-two points this game and they love me for it.

Everyone hollering is a friend tonight.

But there are towns, certain neighborhoods where I’d be hard pressed to hear them cheer if I move on the block.

P is for PARAPHRASE

• Paraphrasing is putting something in your own words.

After reading the poem, rewrite it in your own words

.

• This may be three sentences or a page, depending on the particular poem.

F is for Figurative Language

Analyze the figures of speech and sound effects of the poem.

• These are the poetry vocabulary we have already studied.

• These elements add to the meaning, so we need to make sure we understand what each one means!

A is for ATTITUDE

Tone

is the attitude of the speaker toward the subject of the poem.

WRITE DOWN

WHAT YOU

UNDERSTAND

THE AUTHOR’s

ATTITUDE (TONE)

TO BE!

Angry

Sad

Afraid

Cold

Detached

Benevolent

Dreamy

Shocking

Candid

Proud

Giddy

Pitiful

Dramatic

Provocative

Sentimental

Attitude/Tone Words

Upset

Urgent

Complimentary

Contemptuous

Silly

Joking

Condescending

Happy

Boring

Poignant

Sympathetic

Confused

Apologetic

Hollow

Childish

Humorous

Joyful

Peaceful

Horrific

Mocking

Sarcastic

Sweet

Objective

Nostalgic

Vexed

Vibrant

Zealous

Tired

Frivolous

Irrelevant

Bitter

S is for SHIFT

• If there is a change in…

– Time

– Tone

– Speaker

For example, does it start happy and end sad? Does time pass during the poem?

There may or may not be shifts..

T is for TITLE (again)

• At this time, you should reconsider the title.

• Were you right in your predictions?

What other meanings might the title have in light of your analysis?

• Next, the biggie….

T is for THEME

• Theme is the general insight into life conveyed by the author through his/her work.

• It does not make a judgment.

example: “Don’t do drugs” is not a theme.

• It merely states something that is true to life and the human condition.

How do I find the

THEME

?

• Look at the other parts of TPCASTT.

• What insight are all of these working together to convey?

What is the poet trying to say about their subject?

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