The Tone of the Belly

| | Comments (3)

"Tone designates the attitude that a literary speaker expresses toward his or her subject matter and audience" (Hamilton 156).

"Belly Song" by Etheridge Knight is a great example of how an author's diction affects the tone of the text.

The separations indicated by the / symbol force the reader to pause.  It guides the reader as to how to read the poem and it really does start to sound like a song once it is read aloud.  I strongly recommend you read that poem (just click on "Belly Song" above) and try to say each line aloud to see if you can hear/feel/see its tone.


Maddie Gillespie said:

Tone, tone, tone. Something now author can leave out of their work as it is an essential piece of the whole. It was a great idea of yours to include "Belly Song" by Etheridge Knight; great way to tie in your chosen subject matter to a real life example. You were right in this poem also emphasized the manner in which an author's word choice could display to the reader the tone of a literary work. Again, showing rather than telling! Great entry!

Stephanie Wytovich said:

Oh the joys of tone. I remember for our last English Club event, I read a piece that had a very strong, serious tone, but had unremitting syntax (no punctuation = no breathing). Trust me, you def. felt the effects of that poem, or at least I did, haha.

Hahaha, I feel your pain Stephanie. Like you, I once had to read a poem that had very few pauses in it. I was pretty much wheezing by the time I was done. It was almost like singing a song; I just had to insert my own breath marks. :)

Leave a comment

Type the characters you see in the picture above.