TPS-FASTT A Method for Poetry Analysis TPS-FASTT TPS-FASTT is an acronym that stands for:

Title Paraphrase Speaker Figurative Language Attitude (Tone) Shift Title Theme

Following this format gives you a clear and formulaic way to analyze poetry that might otherwise be confusing or difficult TITLE Examine the title before reading the poem. Sometimes the title will give you a clue about the content of the poem. In some cases the title will give you crucial information that will help you understand a major idea within the poem. PARAPHRASE Means to put into your own words.

Paraphrase the literal action within the poem. At this point, resist the urge to jump to interpretation. A failure to understand what happens on a literal level leads to a misunderstanding of what is happening on a figurative level. SPEAKER Who is the speaker in this poem? Remember to always distinguish speaker (narrator) from the poet (author). In some cases the speaker and poet might be the same, as in an autobiographical or confessional poem, but often the

speaker and the poet are entirely different. More often than not, the poet writes from the point of view of someone or something else. It is also important to identify who the intended audience is. FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE Examine the poem for language that is not used literally. This would include-- but is certainly not limited to-- specific literary devices pertaining to figurative language, such as:

imagery, symbolism, metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole Sound devices alliteration, onomatopoeia, assonance, consonance, rhyme and any other devices used in a non-literal manner. You also want to pay attention to the connotative association surrounding specific stanzas, lines, or words. (That means our associative definition of words as opposed to the dictionary definition.) ATTITUDE

AKA TONE Tone, meaning the speaker's ATTITUDE towards the SUBJECT of the poem. Of course, this means that you must discern the subject of the poem. In some cases it will be narrow, and in others it will be broad. Also keep in mind the speaker's attitude toward self, other characters, and the subject, as well as attitudes of characters other than the speaker. Identify tone words or charged words that reveal the speakers attitude.

SHIFT Note shifts (switches) in speaker and attitude. All poems have a shift! There is no such thing as a poem without a shift. Shifts can be indicated in a number of ways, including: TONE! For example, the speaker was speaking romantically, now is speaking about grief and loss. the occasion of poem (time and place) key turn words (but, yet, then, etc.) punctuation(dashes, periods, colons, etc.) stanza divisions changes in line and stanza length

and anything that indicates that something has changed or a question is being answered. TITLE Examine the title again, this time on an interpretive level Chances are, you thought the poem meant had something to do with the story on a literal level but once you recognized the figurative language, you will understand the title has a different meaning and is referring to something different on a interpretive level. THEME

First list what the poem is about (subject), then determine what the poet is saying about each of those subjects (theme). Remember, theme must always be expressed in a complete sentence or statement. Example: FREEDOM is not a theme. Fighting for freedom is an honorable and noble act. This would be a theme. I N O R D E R T O T H I S C O R R E C T LY It is important to understand that in order to analyze a poem, and in order to understand the themes of a poem, you dont

look at each section (Title, Paraphrase, Speaker, Figurative Language, Attitude, Shift, Title, and Theme) in isolation. You let each of your answers in each section influence your answer in the next section. Therefore your thinking should be set up more as a flowchart. Where each answer works together. PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE Following the TPS-FASTT format, we will now delve into some poetry. In addition to identifying specific literary elements, you

will also write up a TPS-FASTT analysis of the poems.

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