Notes on TPCASTT
TITLE: Consider the title and make a prediction about what the poem is about.
PARAPHRASE: Translate the poem line by line into your own words on a literal level. Look for complete thoughts (sentences may be inverted) and look up unfamiliar words.
CONNOTATION: Examine the poem for meaning beyond the literal. Look for figurative language, imagery, and sound elements.
ATTITUDE/TONE: Notice the speaker’s tone and attitude. Humor? Sarcasm? Awe?
SHIFTS: Note any shifts or changes in speaker or attitude. Look for key words, time change, and punctuation.
TITLE: Examine the title again, this time on an interpretive level.
THEME: Briefly state in your own words what the poem is about (subject), then what the poet is saying about the subject (theme).
We went through this process with Langston Hughes's poem "Dreams."