Poetry Terminology + TPCASTT Acronym

Topic: ArtFrida Kahlo
Sample donated:
Last updated: December 15, 2019
connotation
an implication of words or phrases — can be 1) personal because they derive from personal experience 2) group oriented (i.e. ethnicity) 3) universal (well known)

enjambment
sentence that runs for more than one line — happens in presence of run-on line or end-stropped line

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end-stopped lines
lines of verse in which both grammatical structure and the sense reach completion at the end of the line

understatement
a form of irony in which something is intentionally represented as less than in fact it is

overstatement
figure of speech which exaggerates for effect

oxymoron
a form of paradox made for sharp emphasis — two contradictory words (i.

e. wise fool)

apostrophe
a figure of speech in which something dead or not human is addressed as if it were alive, present, and could reply

synecdoche
use of a part for a whole (i.e. all hands on deck)

metonymy
use of a thing closely related for the thing actually meant (i.e.

those guns will fire meaning the police will for the gun)

symbol
using a concrete object to represent an abstract concept — must work literally and figuratively (i.e. dove for peace)

allegory
narrative or description that has a second meaning beneath the surface

title
examine the title before reading the poem — if it has the name of the first line, the poem had no title

paraphrase
restate the poem in your own words (literal/denotation) look for: syntactical units (complete sentences rather than line by line) and enjambment v.s end stopped lines

connotation (from TPCASTT)
examine the poem for meaning beyond the literal look for: diction, imagery, symbolism, irony, allusion and effects of sound devices

attitude
examine both speaker’s and poet’s attitudes — poet and persona are different in most poetry look for: (speaker’s attitude towards self, other characters, and the subject) (attitudes of characters other than the speaker) (poet’s attitude toward speaker, other characters, subject, and, finally, toward the reader)

shifts
note shifts in speakers attitudes Look for: occasion of poem (time and place), key words, punctuation, stanza divisions, changes in line and/or stanza length, changes in meter patterns, irony, effect of structure on meaning

title (round 2)
examine title again (if it is really the poet’s title) this time on an interpretive level

theme
first list what the poem is about – subjects. these are most often single nouns. Then, determine what the poet is saying about each of those subjects.

Remember, state themes in complete sentences, and they are not factual!

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