Let’s look at these three aspects of the poem
Subject of the poem
The subject of the poem is what the poem is about or the main topic. The subject of the poem is not the same with the theme of the poem.
In the poem “Life’s Brief Candle” the subject of the poem is life.
In “The Dead Crow” the subject of the poem is the environment.
In “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” the subject of the poem is a sanctuary (a place where a person can find peace and quiet).
Theme of the poem
The theme of the poem is the main idea or issue the poet wishes to express or convey to the readers. The poet expresses his or her ideas through the persona. The persona is the person who undergoes a particular experience or emotion.
The theme of the poem is important as it shows the general ideas in the poem. There may be more than one theme expressed in a poem. Let’s look at the themes in the following poems:
| Poems|| Themes|
| Life’s Brief Candle|| Life is unpredictable and short |
| The Dead Crow|| Protect the environment and preserve nature|
|The Lake Isle of Innisfree|| Longing for a paradise and to be part of |
Tone of the poem
The tone of the poem refers to the feelings that are expressed in the poem. The poet writer of the poem) uses the persona to express the tone of the poem. The tone of the poem differs from poem to poem and is mainly based on the overall feelings expressed in the poems. The persona may express more than one tone in a poem.
| Poems|| Themes|
| Life’s Brief Candle|| Hopelessness, helplessness, displeasure…|
| The Dead Crow|| Disappointment, unhappiness, anger…|
|The Lake Isle of Innisfree|| Hopefulness, excitement, calmness… |
Thus, the tone of the poem refers to the feelings or the moods that the persona expresses based on his or her experiences.
|The persona feels:|
happy, sad, remorse (regretful) upset, touched (moved), uneasy, excited, nervous, motivated, worried, frightened, disappointed, annoyed, dissatisfied, doubtful, relieved, uncertain, optimistic, pleased, honoured, thankful, peaceful...