Tone in Poetry | Literary Devices, Example and Why Does Tone Matter?

Tone in Poetry: The technical definition for the ‘tone’ would be – The general mood that a piece of literature exudes, or the reader’s perspective of the cumulative moods and mental or emotional states of the narrator, characters, and the writer, is what creates the immediate definition for ‘tone’.

However, several other factors influence the tone, especially that of poetry. Some of those are the rhyme scheme and rhythm of the poem, the poet’s metrical decorum throughout the poem, the diction used by him in narrating the poem, etcetera.

Students can also check the English Summary to revise with them during exam preparation.

Literary Devices of Tone in Poetry

Condensing it, we can say that tone is a constituent of a literary piece that makes the reader feel a certain way, an ingredient that the composer implements by using his specialty. Multiple tones are extracted from literary pieces, such as,

  • Elegiac or mourning a death
  • Remorsefulness
  • Nostalgia
  • Lechery
  • Conflict and indecision
  • Introspection
  • Sardonic
  • Pessimism and Optimism

Example of Tone in Poetry

An example of tones in proses can be fetched from Donald Barthelme’s ‘The School’, where the writer goes about describing the deaths of some orange trees that they had planted, and the dictation of the same was done in a very graphic manner. The readers get a bleak and morose tone. The writer concludes by saying and perfectly delivering the tone that ‘it was depressing’.

Another example of tone from poems can be fetched from Shakespeare’s sonnet 18, where he says that,

“shall I compare thee to a

Summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and

More temperate.”

Here, the tone is observational, romantic and represents gratitude, as the poet praises the beauty of his lover alongside the beauty of nature.

Why Does Tone Matter?

The tone is a very important literary device because it gives out some of the major traits of a literary piece. The tone also helps the readers understand the writer on an emotional level, on the occasional instances when the work they are reading is autobiographical.

The tone also helps us distinguish between the different emotional renditions in literature and understand how an individual’s internal features are projected in their compositions and how another individual discovers those raw emotions and perceives them.

The tone lays an overview of the reader-writer functioning around a singular tone of emotion. The tone also leads to differentiate between two poems having similar objects. For example, the colour white can be treated as the symbol of peace in one, while another treats it as the symbol of death.

What is the tone of a poem examples?

Tone can be playful, humorous, regretful, anything — and it can change as the poem goes along. When you speak, your tone of voice suggests your attitude. In fact, it suggests two attitudes: one concerning the people you’re addressing (your audience) and one concerning the thing you’re talking about (your subject).

What are examples of tones?

18 Examples of Tone Words in Writing

  • Cheerful.
  • Dry.
  • Assertive.
  • Lighthearted.
  • Regretful.
  • Humorous.
  • Pessimistic.
  • Nostalgic.

What are the 3 types of tones?

Today we went over the 3 types of tone. Nonassertive, aggressive, and assertive.

How do you identify tone?

Tone is the author’s attitude toward a subject. The tone can be identified by looking at word choices and phrases. Take time to look at the language. An author uses words to create meaning.

What are examples of author’s tone?

Tone indicates the writer’s attitude. Often an author’s tone is described by adjectives, such as: cynical, depressed, sympathetic, cheerful, outraged, positive, angry, sarcastic, prayerful, ironic, solemn, vindictive, intense, excited.

What are 5 examples of tone?

Some other examples of literary tone are: airy, comic, condescending, facetious, funny, heavy, intimate, ironic, light, modest, playful, sad, serious, sinister, solemn, somber, and threatening.