Putting It All Together: Analyzing Poetry Using a TP-FASTT

Putting It All Together: Analyzing Poetry Using a TP-FASTT

Now it’s time to put all of the strategies together. It’s time to look at a poem and analyze all of its parts. A helpful strategy is using a TP-FASTT (Title, Paraphrase-Figurative Language, Attitude, Shifts, Title again, Theme) Chart.

TP-FASTT Chart Explanation

T—Title: The title of a poem is always important. Often, the title can mean more than one thing. Before reading, predict as many meanings of the title as you can think of. Write down any questions you have about what the title might mean.

P—Paraphrase/Put in Your Own Words: You need to read the poem before doing this. Then, in one or two sentences, simply state what happens. Don’t tell what it is about because then you are just telling the subject or topic. Instead, you need to give a bare-bones account of the action of the poem. Don’t say this poem “is

F—Figurative Language: Write down any similes, metaphors, or personification you see. Look at the words used. Look at the images. Are these positive? Are they negative?  Point out the words that make them so. Find at least five examples of figurative language, cite them, and explain their effect on the reader.

A—Attitude: (Tone/Mood) What is the speaker’s and the poet’s attitude (TONE)? How do you know? Cite proof (diction, detail, imagery). What is the audience’s mood?

S—Shifts: Does the subject matter change? Does the word
choice (diction i.e. slang to formal) change? Do the images change? Sometimes these go from positive to negative.  This helps you figure out theme. Look for: Key words (but, yet, however, although); Punctuation (dashes, periods, colons, ellipses); Stanza Divisions; Change in line and/or stanza length; Irony; Changes in sound

T—Title Again: Now what do you think the title means? It is not unusual for the title to have more than one possible meaning. Again, this will help you with the theme. Has its meaning changed for you? What is its significance? Get to an interpretive level this time.

T—Theme/Subject: Look at all the information you have generated above. What message do you think the writer is hoping to give you in his or her poem? Write a complete, declarative sentence expressing a universal concept that the text makes about the subject. Clearly identify both.




Figurative Language



Title Again


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