Tone in Poetry

Conversational: Moore offers a conversational tone intended to introduce poetry as a subject meant for everyone, not as an intimidating one. She speaks of poetry familiarly and uses casual phrases and images.

Tone Examples in Poetry:

Poetry 3

"In the meantime..."   (Poetry)

The phrase “in the meantime” points to the failure of poets to become true “literalists of the imagination.” However, the phrase carries an optimistic tone: this is a matter of when, not if.

"perfect contempt..."   (Poetry)

The speaker begins the poem from a position of “perfect contempt” for poetry. This contempt is really more of a lover’s complaint, because the speaker spends the rest of the poem seeking the ideal and the good in poetry. This initial tone of skepticism is merely a starting place, an attitude to contrast the prescriptive hopefulness which slowly builds as the poem works towards its conclusion.

"it..."   (Poetry)

The pronoun “it” that the speaker claims to dislike refers to “poetry,” the title of this poem. The adverb “too” suggests that the speaker is agreeing with an unknown person’s complaints about poetry and that the entire poem will be an extended explanation, or justification, of her dislike for poetry. This setup makes the poem appear more conversational, as if the audience were participating in a conversation with friends or colleagues.