One of our past poetry strategies has been to think about your mood as you read a poem. Another great strategy is to think about the tone the author takes within a poem. 

Tone and mood often go hand in hand because the attitude or tone a poet takes within a poem impacts the mood of the reader when reading the piece. The mood can change throughout the poem, while the author’s tone usually is consistent within a poem. Confused? Keep reading!

Read or listen to the poem Stillbirth by Laure-Anne Bosselaar and think about the tone of the poem. 

I felt a sense of panic at the beginning of the poem because of the lines, “It wasn’t my train—the doors were closing,/ but I rushed in, searching for your face.” These lines caused me to feel rushed and confused as the reader. 

The poem continued and I began to feel sad as I started to understand what the poet was talking about. The poet writes, “I was told not to look. Not to get attached—.” This line along with the title Stillbirth” filled me with sadness once I understood that this was a poem about loss. 

Once I thought about how the mood shifted throughout the poem I started to consider the author’s tone when writing the poem. 

The repetition of the word “grief” stood out to me, such as “Some griefs bless us that way, not asking much space.” It seemed to me that the poet wrote this poem as a response to her grief and used the poem to express the pain from the death of a child. 

What was a line from this poem that stood out to you and communicated tone or mood? Leave your thoughts in the comments! 

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