Mood, Tone And Diction In Poetry

  • Category: Literature, Poems,
  • Words: 1068 Pages: 4
  • Published: 03 April 2021
  • Copied: 122

Mood, literature wise, can be defined as the general feeling a reader seizes from the atmosphere an author has fabricated in their writing. Regardless of the mood being created, authors use diverse tactics and strategies to establish moods in their literature. In both poems, “Ode to Family Photographs,” by Gary Soto and “Abandoned Farmhouse,” by Ted Kooser, this transpires within the writing. Primarily, both authors use imagery to assist in delivering the reader a certain feel about the poems. Moreover, the diction used by the two writers aids in creating a tone for the audience by the connotation behind the words. Eventually, in both poems, the writers use the state in which the character’s family life sits to establish mood. In summary, even though the moods in both “Ode to Family Photographs,” by Gary Soto and “Abandoned Farmhouse,” by Ted Kooser are not the same, the authors use related techniques in constructing the mood of the poems.

To initiate, both writers did a superb job of assembling the mood within the poems they composed by creating different environments in the audience’s imaginations. This was achieved by using imagery in a manner that embodies the aura of the literature. In “Ode to Family Photographs,” we can naturally concur that the mood of the poem would allude to a cheerful and joyful mood as a result of the cheerful memories being brought up by the narrator. To demonstrate, the poem states, “But we had fun when Mama picked up the camera. How can I tell? Each of us is laughing hard.” This contributes to the reader’s comprehension of the mood because it helps them paint a festive picture of a close and joyful family having an entertaining time looking back at memories. On the other hand, in “Abandoned Farmhouse,” we can determine that the mood would be morose and devastating. For illustration, the text states, “on the floor below the window, dusty with sun; but not a man for farming, say the fields cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn.” The dreary imagery that this quote created by the home not being well kept would lead the reader to influence the reader to think of the mood as morose. We can associate the negligent behaviors of the homeowner, of not keeping the house tidy, to reasonings that might involve depressing backgrounds. In relation to this, businesses and companies use the same tactic of “imagery” to help describe and bring attention to their sales. Suppose that you see an advertisement for a beach resort, the company might put in phrases such as “pleasure, comfort and relaxation” or “luxurious getaway,” these descriptions help create certain images in a consumer's mind that benefit the owners of these properties. 

In continuation, the diction used by each author contributes to the making of the mood of the literary compositions. In the poem “Ode to Family Photographs,” we can interpret the mood of the poem to be cheerful and joyful as a result of the phrasing Soto uses. For example, the poem states, “The angles dizzy as a spin on a merry-go-round.” This quote compares the camera angles to a merry-go-round. The connotation behind a merry-go-round would indubiously be jubilant and enjoyable. This helps depict the joyous and cheerful theme in behalf of the word choices used by the author. Alternatively, in “Abandoned Farmhouse,” the mood established will be morose and devastating, the reasoning behind this would be the connotation used in the comparisons used in the writing. In particular, the poem states, “And the winters cold, say the rags in the window frames. It was lonely here, says the narrow country road.” The narrator of the story describes the setting to be “cold” and “lonely.” This gives off a somber and devastating feel to the reader, leading to the reasoning behind the morose and devastating mood that it projects. A connection we can draw from the tactic the authors use of how the connotation of their words impact the mood created within their work, can be related to how filmmakers use words with certain connotations to name their productions. To illustrate, upbeat and joyous films like “Happy Feet” are named that way because of the positive connotation that their title gives off. On the other hand, horror movies such as, “Death of Me” and “Hell Fest” have negative connotations within their titles which contribute to the frightening content within the films.

Eventually, both of the poems depict the family life of the characters in both poems. What occurs between the families in both poems serves the audience a better perception of the mood. To demonstrate, in “Ode to Family Photographs,” the literature states, “But we had fun when Mama picked up the camera. How can I tell? Each of us is laughing hard.” This quote expresses how the family seems to have a healthy and loving relationship filled with happiness. This supplies a cheerful and joyful mood due to the family’s loving bond. Under other conditions, in “Abandoned Farmhouse,” the family life fails to embody a cheerful or joyous family, it embodies the opposite. An instance of this would be when the poem mentions, “the still-sealed jars in the cellar say she left in nervous haste. And the child? Its toys are strewn in the yard like branches after a storm—a rubber cow, a rusty tractor with a broken plow, a doll in overalls. Something went wrong, they say,” This quote describes how the mother and child might have left the house and/or the father. Since the family bond seems to be quite torn which adds to the mood of melancholy and gloominess. In addition to this, much like how the family lives of the characters aided the interpretation of the mood of the poem, we can use this to understand the reasoning behind the behavior some people project. In other words, individuals who were raised in toxic households or have poor family lives can face complications such as, anxiety, social isolation, inability to confide in others, and many other challenges due to the environment in their homes. 

In the grand scheme of things, even though the two pieces of literature do not share the same mood, both authors still used equivalent techniques to embody the aura of the moods of the poems. The authors achieved this by using these three following tools. Primarily, they used imagery to help the reader paint a picture of the occurrences in the poems within the literature. Afterward, they used specific words with connotations that corresponded to the overall mood of each poem. Ultimately, both authors showed the reader what the character’s family life was like. This helped determine the quality of their lives and tied into the mood of the poems. Overall, Soto and Kooser used these methods to their advantage and beautifully conveyed the ambiance that has been embedded within these poems by using different devices to give off subtle symptoms of the general mood of the poems.

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