Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Analyzing Poetry with TPCASTT

It's testing time but as we emerge from FCAT, you'll have some homework due...a TPCASTT analysis on one of the poems we'll assign.  This will also help you study for the poetry quiz.

TPCASTT is an analysis that is well known and used throughout high school.  It is simply a series of steps to follow when you analyze a poem.  You can download one version of the TPCASTT by clicking here.  We've also included the steps below.  Please use complete sentences to answer the questions.  Refer to specific lines or quotes from the text to SHOW that you understand the poem and the literary techniques.

Depending on which teacher you have, you'll have a different selection of poems.  Some are from the textbook and some are found online.  You should choose the poem from your teacher's list that gives you the best opportunity to show what you know about analyzing poetry.

The poems are due at the time of the quiz since this homework is designed to prepare you for the quiz.  We'll update you about the date of the quiz once testing is finished.  Currently, B day classes will take the quiz on April 25th and A day classes will take the test on April 26th.  

Here are the choices:
For Jackson’s classes:  
On Turning Ten by Billy Collins
The Summer Day by Mary Oliver
The End of April by Phillis Larkin
Dusting by Julia Alzarez (textbook)
How Things Work by Gary Soto (textbook)
Quilting by Lucille Clifton (textbook)

Salzer’s classes—all from the textbook (online here)
My Father and the Figtree p 391-392
My Mother Pieced Quilts
Boots of Spanish Leather
We Alone
Willow and Gingkgo

For Schoof’s classes:
Sifter by Naomi Shihab Nye 
Sea Lullaby by Elinor Wylie  
The lesson of the moth by Don Marquis (textbook)

Title: What do you think this poem will be about before reading it?

Paraphrase: Before you begin thinking about meaning or tying to analyze the poem, don't overlook the literal meaning of the poem.   What actually happens in the poem?
List any words that you don’t know.  

If the poem is not literal, what else could it mean?
Which literary techniques are used?
How do they contribute to the overall meaning or the poem?
* imagery,
*figurative language (simile, metaphor, personification, symbolism, etc),
*word choice, syntax, and format,
*point of view,
*sound devices  (alliteration, onomatopoeia, rhythm, and rhyme).
You don’t need to identify all the techniques. The ones you do identify should  support the conclusions you have drawn.

Attitude--Who is the speaker?
What is the speaker talking about?
What is the speaker’s attitude toward that subject?

Shift--What are the shifts or changes in speaker or attitude? Look for key words (but, yet, however, although), time change, punctuation,   or format.

Title revisited--Now look at the title again.  Does the title have any new significance now?  Explain.

Theme--What is the lesson or message of the poem?  (One sentence)