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Tones (in Poems)


TONE is a mash-up of any of the following:

tone of voice, undertone, intonation, inflection, emotional weather, vocal coloring, temperament, disposition, attitude, mood, ambiance, surround-sound, genre-geist

I.  PRIMARY TONES (most recognizable facial emotions)
– annoyed, vexed, frustrated, quarrelsome, belligerent, bitter, vengeful, furious
AFRAID – timid, nervous, anxious, dreading, desperate, panicky, terrified, petrified
DISGUSTED – disapproving, displeased, offended, sickened, outraged, horrified, revolted
SAD – discouraged, lonely, resigned, wistful, melancholy, plaintive, miserable, anguished
HAPPY – upbeat, cheerful, joyous, excited, enthusiastic, thrilled, ecstatic, blissful
HUNGRY — hungry, thirsty, lustful, searching, yearning, prowling, omnivorous, greedy

REVERENT – tender, polite, sober, ceremonious, adoring, elevated, preachy, pious
IRREVERENT – impudent, rude, saucy, defiant, rebellious, subversive, lewd, blasphemous
COMIC – playful, whimsical, teasing, silly, sly, wry, mischievous, witty, perverse, satirical
TRAGIC – cautionary, imploring, ominous, defeated, devastated, pitiful, ironic, heroic
ALLURING – attractive, tempting, romantic, seductive, captivating, entrancing, hypnotic
AGGRESSIVE- assertive, earnest, insistent, urgent, combative, hostile, menacing, manic
KIND – friendly, sincere, gracious, compassionate, consoling, merciful, benevolent
CRUEL – callous, coarse, cynical, sarcastic, scathing, derisive, sinister, malevolent, savage
SOFT – muted, confiding, intimate, shy, humble, contemplative, soothing, serene
LOUD – harsh, blustery, proud, brash, arrogant, bombastic, booming, shrill, hysterical
SURPRISED – expectant, curious, inspired, puzzled, bewildered, shocked, astonished
NEUTRAL – bland, slack, impersonal, flat, dead-pan, monotonous, bloodless, toneless

Selective Sources: TONE(s)

Atlas of Emotions

Categories of Emotions (Plutchik’s Wheel, etc.)

ABC Game Vortex Words (Discovering Peace with Abraham-Hicks)

“Tones of Voice”
chapter 3 in Poetry: The Basics by Jeffrey Wainwright

entry in The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics

“Tone” and “Tone Color”
entries in A Poet’s Glossary by Edward Hirsch

“Tone: The Screenwriter’s Lens”
lecture by Angus Fletcher in Screenwriting 101: Mastering the Art of Story

“What Is American in Modern American Poetry: A Brief Primer with Poems”
chapter 8 in Ten Windows by Jane Hirshfield

definitions, synonyms, etymologies, lists

Random House Word Menu
reference book by Stephen Glazier


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