TP-CASTT Poetry Analysis
TITLE: Consider the title and make a prediction about what the poem is about.
I predict that the poem will be about how to paint a water lily and what is needed.
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 the meaning beyond the literal. Look for figurative language, imagery, and sound elements.
The dragonfly is personified “that eats meat, that bullets by.” Also, nature is personified “There are battle shouts and death cries everywhere hereabouts”. An example of imagery is the first line of the poem “a green level of lily leaves roofs the pond’s chamber and paves”. Examples of sound elements used in the poem are “bullets by” “battle-shouts and death-cries everywhere hereabouts”
ATTITUDE/TONE: Notice the speaker’s tone and attitude. Humor? Sarcasm? Awe?
The tone of the poem is detailed and attentive. The poet describes what he is observing while painting a water lily.
SHIFTS: Note any shifts or changes in speaker or attitude. Look for key words, time change, punctuation.
The poet first discusses his initial disliking for the natural world. The tone then shifts and the poet conveys his admiration for the peaceful water lilies on the pond. The speaker’s attitude begins to contrast the previously expressed denunciation.
TITLE: Examine the title again, this time on an interpretive level.
The title on an interpretive level is that in order to paint nature, a water lily, an artist must understand all the factors of nature, both the beauty and peacefulness, but also the violence.
THEME: Briefly state in your own words what the poem is about (subject), then what the poet is saying about the subject (theme).
The poem examines the complex features of nature that we don’t see. Nature is deeper and darker than we perceive.