In this generative workshop, we will be writing and revising poems of delight, celebration, and grief, paying special attention to tone of voice. Tone is often defined as an author’s attitude toward her subject, but tone is also content. It is the implicit invitation to feel with the author, to enter the head and heart of the poet to see how and what he sees. What exactly makes a poem express gladness or sorrow? How does imagery, for example, affect tone—or diction? By comparing a variety of odes, aubades, and elegies, we will explore the various elements that establish and sustain tone of voice. This will allow each of us to enter our own work with a clearer sense of what is required to say the things essential to a reader’s full understanding.
Odes, Aubades & Elegies: Tone As Illumination With Tim Seibles