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

Paraphrase

 

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)