TPCASTT Fire and Ice

Report
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?

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