Beverly Questad

Pre-AP Vertical Teams

July 22, 2004

POEM ANALYSIS METHOD: Find a poem to analyze

Choose 1 of 3 methods in notes to analyze: TPCASTT, SOAPS or 5 Ss:
Choice TPCASTT: Title, paraphrase, connotation, Attitude, Shifts, Title and Theme



After Great Pain, A Formal Feeling Comes
by Emily Dickinson

After great pain, a formal feeling comes--
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Toombs--
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round--
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought--
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone--

This is the Hour of Lead--
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons recollect the Snow--
First--Chill--then Stupor--then the letting go--


TPCASTT Analysis



T: What is Dickinsons great pain physical or emotional? Either?

What is a formal feeling? One rationally explainable and distant?




C: nerves sit ceremonious, like tombs = simile and personification

The nerves are compared to a tomb which would be a house of the body, the process or action leading to the death is over


C: contentment like a stone = simile and personification
Stones have no feelings


C: mechanical feet: they have no independence or volition


C: rhyming patterns last two lines of each stanza showcase the focus on the end (death)


C: Freezing persons recollect: When people freeze it is at first painful but then they lose the sense of it before they die.


C: What is the hour of lead? The hour before letting go, the hour before dying, the time before we let go of our pain/trauma?


S: Steps of separation until there is no longer a connection = letting go
There is a shift from shock (lines1-13) to detachment from physical self (lines 14-18) ending in

letting go (resolution) in last line



A: great pain, tombs, mechanical, wooden, stone, hour of lead, freezing, snow, chill, stupor, letting go = anti-life, depression


A: Why are there so many uses of dashes?



Time will help us recover from the immediacy of a painful event and give us greater perspective.




Tragedy or trauma can be numbing, and it may be hard to feel anything anymore. Though the active pain may have ceased, there is a residual effect from the pain.









People, after pain/trauma, go about their daily business but they have lost their meaning and their purpose in it. They just do it as a matter of routine. They have no feeling.






If you survive the pain/trauma, then you can remember how painful it was and your shock but if you can no longer let the pain/trauma affect you, then it is only a memory and you can go on.







Theme Investigation

Plot: person experiences great pain and basically goes into a form of shock .
Subject: Great pain ~ Title Revisited: Time is an analgesic for a Great Pain
Message: Recovery from suffering a great loss will either end in death or,
will take stages of loss and then accepting ("letting go)