Words to Describe Mood


It's probably easiest to begin to decide what mood a poem has (or what mood you want your poem to be) by first deciding if it's "positive" or "negative."  Then look for more specific words to describe your poem's mood.

You don't have to use a word from this short list.

However, stay away from generic words like "sad," "happy," "interesting," "scary," and "nasty."  Those aren't specific enough words to describe a complex mood created in a poem.


Don't know a word listed below?  Check your vocabulary notes, look it up, and ask Ms. Spachman for more details.




Light-hearted   Tense
Playful   Gloomy
Tender   Violent
Enlightened   Insidious
Optimistic   Pessimistic
Liberating   Confining
Warm   Cold
Hopeful   Hopeless
Nostalgic   Haunting
Peaceful   Nightmarish
Welcoming   Hostile
Harmonious   Suspenseful
Trustful   Foreboding
Vivacious   Painful
Confident   Threatening
Idyllic   Desolate
Sympathetic   Merciless
Joyous   Terrifying
Dignified   Barren
Ecstatic   Vengeful
Empowered   Heartbroken
Inclusive   Lonely