Friday, July 5, 2013

Poetry Friday: Freedom (and mood)

Today's post is part of Poetry Friday hosted by Keri at Keri Recommends.  Stop by today's host blog for more poetry links.

As part of yesterday's #teacherswrite events, guest author, Jenny Meyerhoff, talked about mood.  The quick write exercise was to see a room through the eyes of a character feeling a particular way.  

I am discovering that, though I am very much a character reader, I am not much of a character writer. She reminded us, "When the writer isn’t deliberate about mood, the reader is often left emotionally cold." Jenny's comments about mood did apply to some of writing I dabble in here and there.  

I really wondered about mood in poetry.  It seems like an important piece.  One I rarely think intentionally about; so I decided to try it out a bit in two poems about freedom (yes, a little cliche since yesterday was the fourth).

Of course, I didn't really accomplish mood so more practice is ahead.  It seems I did manage two different perspectives.  Here are two original works in progress:    


An illusion
granted only to those
with power,
A line 
not made to cross.
A path
moving only in one direction.
and sold
in America.


To wake
To be
To choose 
To go
To vote
To know
To learn
To grow
To read
To speak

© Cathy L. Mere


  1. I think you underestimate your attempt at setting the mood, Cathy. I especially like the second poem because of the building action. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I too think you've accomplished two different moods, dismay or disgust, and excitement. A favorite line is the "bought and sold', Cathy. And I like the second one for its action.

  3. How creative of you to take yesterday's quick write and apply it to poetry. I agree with Keri and Linda, you have created a distinct mood in each poem. The dismay in the first poem is replaced by a more optimistic mood in the second. Nicely done!

  4. I often have a hard time identifying mood in poems when I'm reading them, let alone creating it (deliberately) when I'm writing.

    Guess I have some practicing to do, too!

  5. Both are very powerful and meaningful reflections. I think you create a distinct mood in each. The photo is an excellent accent too!

  6. Cathy,
    I know you are working on mood, but what I thought about when I read these was voice. Your voice is so strong in both poems. I wonder if voice and mood might somehow, in some situations, be closely connected. The first, I think, captures the anger I feel every day as a teacher of children of poverty. Unfairness that breaks my heart on a pretty much daily basis. The second poem reflects what I want to teach my kids, that despite all of the unjustness in the world, there is power in knowledge, that people who can read and write have a voice to make changes. I think I'd like to start the year sharing these two poems with some of our older kids, if it's ok with you.

  7. Cathy~
    As I read your poems what caught my eye was perspective. The angst in the first seems to come from a more experienced or calloused view. The second more optimistic and trusting- is it an age perspective or just experience, makes me wonder.

  8. Very interesting what you've done with these two distinctive points of view under the same umbrella of "Freedom." Like Carol, you've got me thinking-- not only about mood and voice, but also about what I would define as "character." I clearly heard the voice in each of these poems, as well as the emotions that fueled the voice (mood?), but while I got a sense of character in the second poem, it seemed to be lacking in the first. Maybe it has to do with the second being more active (all those verbs)...? Doesn't make one poem better than the other, just a difference I noticed.


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