Poetry Terms. The Voice: Tone. Mood. Allusion. Onomatopoeia.

The Voice: tone, mood, allusion and onomatopoeia.

TONE: What is being said and how it is being said are pretty important. Think for a moment  of the sentence. ‘Please leave the room’. Tone or the attitude of the speaker can make a huge difference here. First try saying that sentence four different ways, simply by emphasising a different word each time. Then if you introduce a note of anger or exhaustion or apathy or urgency into your voice, that sentence takes on a different meaning. In poetry tone is the attitude the poet / speaker has towards his / her listener / reader. Tone can be formal or casual / or off-hand. serious or tongue-in-cheek, superior or prayer-like, profound or simple and so on.

MOOD: A tone can create a mood or atmosphere. Mood is the feeling contained within the work and the feeling communicated to the reader. In Eavan Boland’s poem “This Moment” is one of expectation and mystery.

This Moment

(Eavan Boland)

A neighborhood.

At dusk.

Things are getting ready
to happen
out of sight.

Stars and moths.
And rinds slanting around fruit.

But not yet.

One tree is black.
One window is yellow as butter.

A woman leans down to catch a child
who has run into her arms
this moment.

Stars rise.
Moths flutter.
Apples sweeten in the dark.



Definition: onomatopoeia are words that sound like the objects they name or the sounds those objects make.


Zip goes the jacket

” Zip” is an onomatopoeia
word because it sounds
like a jacket is
zipping up.


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