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TP-CASTT Poetry Analysis

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1/09 Poetry Unit: TP-CASTT - Blume

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TP-CASTT is an ACRONYM for

Title
Paraphrase
Connotation
Attitude
Shift
Title
Theme

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First, lets review some vocabulary:


literal = means exact or not exaggerated.
Literal language is language that means exactly
what is said. Most of the time, we use literal
language.
figurative = the opposite of literal language.
Figurative language is language that means
more than what it says on the surface. Often
used by poets and other writers.
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Review vocabulary, continued:


denotation = the dictionary definition of a word
or phrase
connotation = a meaning suggested by a word
or phrase, in addition to its exact (denotative)
meaning; can be the emotional feelings
associated with the word
Think of the denotative and connotative
meanings of words such as home, mother, love,
peace, friend, etc.
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Write the following


title and author on your
TP-CASTT handout
O Captain! My Captain!
by Walt Whitman
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Title: What predictions


can you make about
the poem from the
title? What are your
initial (first) thoughts
about the poem?
What might be the
theme of the poem?

Title: What
predictions
can you make
from the title?

The poem might be


simply about a ship
captain or
captaining a ship. Is
it about some
memory the author
has or some special
feelings he has
about his captain?

(now read the poem)

O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman


O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weatherd every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise upfor you the flag is flungfor you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbond wreathsfor you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
Youve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchord safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Title: What

predictions
can you make from
the title? Read the
poem. What are your
initial (first) thoughts
about the poem?
What might be the
theme of the poem?

Title: What

predictions
can you make from
the title? Read the
poem. What are your
initial (first) thoughts
about the poem?
What might be the
theme of the poem?

It seems like the


author is saddened
by a sailing memory.
Maybe the theme is
regret or grief.

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Paraphrase: Describe

what happens in the


poem, in your own
words.

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Paraphrase: Describe

what happens in the


poem, in your own
words.

A ship arrives a port,


welcomed by the
public. Amid the
celebration, the
speaker (a sailor)
finds the ships
captain dead.
Although the crowd
continues to cheer,
the sailor alone
mourns the captain.

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Connotation: What might the


poem mean beyond the literal
level? Find examples of
imagery, metaphors, similes,
personification, symbolism,
idioms, hyperbole, alliteration,
rhyme scheme, rhythm, etc. and
think about their possible
connotative meanings. Consider
the emotional feelings that the
words may give the reader.

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Connotation: What might the


poem mean beyond the literal
level? Find examples of
imagery, metaphors, similes,
personification, symbolism,
idioms, hyperbole, alliteration,
rhyme scheme, rhythm, etc. and
think about their possible
connotative meanings. Consider
the emotional feelings that the
words may give the reader.

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Attitude: Describe the tone of the


poem. What is the poets attitude
toward the subject of the poem?
The speakers attitude? Find and
list examples that illustrate the
tone and mood of the poem
(these show attitude).

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Attitude: Describe the tone of

The poet/speakers tone seems


to be one of sadness and
the poem. What is the poets
longing, as shown by till the
attitude toward the subject of
the poem? The speakers
heart of me weeps to belong,
attitude? Find and list examples the glamour of childish days is
that illustrate the tone and
upon me, and I weep like a
mood of the poem (these show child for the past.
attitude).
softly, in the dusk
a mother who smiles as she
sings
betrays me back, till the heart
of me weeps to belong
cast down in a flood of
remembrance

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Shift: Is there a shift (a change)


in the tone or speaker of the
poem? Where does the shift
happen in the poem? What
does it shift from and to?

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Shift: Is there a shift (a change)


in the tone or speaker of the
poem? Where does the shift
happen in the poem? What
does it shift from and to?

There is a subtle shift in tone


from the beginning of the
poem ,which seems like a simple
recollection of a childhood
memory.
In the second stanza, the
author/speaker uses words like
betrays and weeps to
indicate a desire to return to
these happier times.
Then in the third stanza, words
like it is in vain,
appassionato, manhood is
cast down, flood of
remembrance, and I weep like
a child for the past demonstrate
a more painful longing to have
things the way they used to be.
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Title: Look at the title again.


Have your original ideas about
the poem changed? How? What
do you think the title means
now?

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Title: Look at the title again.

I think the title Piano represents


Have your original ideas about a focal point for the
the poem changed? How? What author/speakers feelings. Pianos
do you think the title means
and music are, by nature,
now?
connected with our emotions
and often with other people in
our lives. Music can prompt us to
feel very deeply, and thus the
piano comes to represent a
much happier time in the life of
the author/speaker.

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Theme: What is the overall


theme of the poem?
What insight, understanding,
lesson, or truth are we supposed
to have after reading this
poem?

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Theme: What is the overall

The theme of the poem


appears to be longing for the
theme of the poem?
past, which may seem to have
What insight, understanding,
lesson, or truth are we supposed been more loving and happy.
to have after reading this
poem?

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Doing a TP-CASTT poem analysis will


help you turn your observations into
meaningful discussions or writing.
You have noticed the details - now can put
them together so you can understand and
talk about the poem much better.

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