Interrogating Poetry with TPCASTT Fire and Ice by Robert Frost Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I side with those who favor fire. But if I had to perish twice, 5 I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice. Review of TPCASTT Strategy: T – Title P – Paraphrase C – Connotations (the images, figurative language, word choices, allusions, symbols) A – Attitude S – Shift T – Title (again) T - THEME Initial Title Analysis and Predictions: Fire and Ice Opposites Why are these words in a title together? What might you predict the poem will be about? HINT: Be sure to know all meanings of words in titles Consider how the words in a title relate you each other, other literary works, you, and the world Time to Paraphrase: Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I side with those who favor fire. To Paraphrase: The speaker believes fire and desire are related. From previous experience with desire, the author thinks the world will end in fire. HINT: Be sure to look up any words you don’t know. Put into your own words lines or entire stanzas from the poem. Don’t be fooled by a short poem. Sometimes those short poems are full of ideas. Paraphrasing cont’d: Paraphrase: But if I had to perish twice, 5 The author relates I think I know enough of hat e with ice hate and has To say that for experienced destruction ice enough hate to Is also great know that it And would suffice. could also destroy the world. Connotations: Fire is a symbol for desire Ice a symbol for hate The author’s connections imply that these emotions can end the world. These words are also opposites yet they both will end the world. This is a paradox (a contradictory yet true statement), and the author shows us that these extremes can both have the same result. HINT: Consider the emotional meanings of words, phrases, images, allusions, figurative language, symbolism. Make connections among and between words. Connotations (cont’d): “suffice” The last word of the last line seems understated compared to the topic of the world ending. The speaker sounds “matter of fact” about the causes of the ending. HINT: Look for sarcasm, understatement, and hyperbole to determine emotional connections to topics. Attitude: The speaker’s attitude seems to be nonchalant and matterof-fact about this conundrum. The attitude connotes a sense of inevitability about the end of the world because desire and hate are common human emotions. HINT: Attitude is how the speaker feels about the topic. What exactly is the topic? Shift: A shift occurs in this poem when the author moves from the perspective of “some” to “I”. The shift implies a personal connection and knowledge of how things will end. HINT: Look for changes in meter, rhyme scheme, topic, point of view, setting. Title (again): Fire and Ice Construed as destructive Does the title really imply the end of the world? Or the end of something else— maybe a relationship? HINT: Think about how the title now has connections to the connotations and attitude in the poem. Theme Relationships can be destroyed by wanting something too much (desire) or by hating something too much. This has been connected explicitly to the end of the world (international relations) Implicitly connected to personal relationships through shift in point of view HINT: If you are struggling to understand a message, put it together like this: 1. Topic (destruction) 2. Topic phrase (destruction from fire and ice) 3. Theme: Relationships can end from wanting too much or from hating too much. Conclusion: T- Title P- Paraphrase C- Connotations A- Attitude S- Shift T- Title (again T- Theme Do you feel this strategy is an effective way to understand the meaning of a poem?