"It Was A Dark And Stormy Night . . ."


Lesson 17


Mood is defined as a created atmosphere or context. In the movies mood is achieved by special lighting, sound effects, selected music, and the tone of the actors’ dialogue and actions. In poetry, to create mood, the writer must rely on his/her use of words and phrases to "paint the right scene" - in other words, create the right mood. The mood may be somber, light-hearted, "other worldly," comical, silly, or thought provoking. It is up to you, as the poet, to consider your theme and purpose. Then create the mood that best relays those two elements to your reader.

Let’s look at some poems and practice identifying theme, purpose, and mood in the following poem



Karle Wilson Baker


Some days my thoughts are just cocoons--all cold,

and dull and blind,

They hang from dripping branches in the grey woods of my mind;

And other days they drift and shine--such free and flying things!

I find the gold-dust in my hair, left by their brushing wings.



The theme is:________________________________________.


The mood is ______________________________________.


The purpose is ______________________________________.


Go to Lesson 2 and choose a poetry site. Then choose a poem and do the above exercise again.


When you search a poem for its hidden meaning, purpose, and mood, it is called exposition.

Now that you’ve had a chance to analyze some poems, make a decision about the type of mood you want to establish with your theme from Lesson 15.



Lyrical Lessons