Poetry – English 9 TP-CASTT Method to Interpret Poetry TP-CASTT Does poetry puzzle you? Do you ask yourself the following questions: Why don’t poets say what they mean? How do these lines fit together? How can I figure out what this poem means? TP-CASTT T – Title P – Paraphrase C – Connotation A – Attitude (Tone) S – Shifts T – Title (Again) T - Theme TP-CASTT TP-CASTT Paraphrase “Translate” or write the poem in your own words. Identify and define any unknown words. Identify the literal meaning of the poem. Do words in the poem have more than one meaning? Write out the poem in your own words. Do not skip the parts you do not understand. TP-CASTT Connotation Look at the poetic devices of the poem—how do they contribute to the meaning of the poem? Do these devices contribute to the meaning of the poem or its effect? Literary Elements to Consider Figurative Language Simile Metaphor Personification Hyperbole Assonance Consonance Others... TP-CASTT ATTITUDE (Tone) Silly How does the writer feel about the subject of the poem? SENTIMENTAL SYMPATHETIC JOYFUL TP-CASTT SHIFTSSHIFTSSHIFTS Some things to look for: Changes in line or stanza length Punctuation (dashes, periods, colons, ellipsis) Stanza division Changes in sound or diction Key words (but, yet, however, although) TP-CASTT TITLE – (Again) Re-examine the title. Now that you’ve read the poem, does the title hold a different meaning? TP-CASTT THEME What is the universal message the writer is trying to get across? To find the theme: Summarize the “plot” of the poem. List the subject(s) of the poem (literal to abstract) What is the poet saying about each subject? Write a complete sentence describing what the poet is saying. Congratulations! You’ve identified the theme! TP-CASTT Title, Paraphrase, Connotation, Attitude (Tone), Shifts, Title (Again), Theme – TP-CASTT Applying this method of evaluating poetry will help you understand how the poem “fits” together and enable you to understand what the poet is trying to convey. Good reading!