I love moods.
I don't love being in them because usually that means I'm grumpy.
Moods are neat because they are mostly feelings, without a lot of facts set in concrete.
Consider, for example, this painting by Claude Monet.
Claude Monet was a major Impressionist painter, and this painting is a good example of an Impressionist painting. In the painting, you see an impression, not an actual, detailed picture. You get a certain feeling when looking at the painting; you don't say, "Wow, look at that cool bridge." You say instead, "Look at the light on the water, look at the light as it filters through the clouds, look at the faint suggestions of structures beyond the canvas." This painting makes you want to see farther into the picture. You want to see what is beyond that bridge, and you want to feel the damp chill of the fog that surrounds you. You want to listen to the fog and the river that flows past you. You want to be there.
I love Impressionist paintings (as if you couldn't tell), and I love the music of Impressionism too. I'm playing the Debussy Estampes right now, and for one, I love Debussy and always have. It lies well on the piano and just feels good to play. Sure, it has its share of "technical difficulties," but for some reason they don't bother me like they do in Romantic music. I'm also playing the Grieg Concerto in A minor right now, and it's a bit to chew on! (I have to admit that my strength is definitely not in technique but more in musicality.) I did find it very inspiring, though, when I went through the first movement, especially the cadenza, and analyzed a lot of the chord progressions. Suddenly, the cadenza took on a shape! Instead of it being a series of hard variations on some of the main themes of the movement that are somehow supposed to sound made-up, it had a line and a flow. I found it very helpful and inspiring (to analyze the chord progressions), and it helped me when I played it, to give the movement a sense of "wholeness" and continuity. Also, focusing more on the musical gestures actually helped all the technical stuff. Ok, enough about Grieg, back to Debussy. I love to listen to all the tone colors and sounds in Debussy. He had such a way of capturing feelings and moods. In the third movement of Estampes, Jardins sous la pluie (Gardens in the Rain), you can hear and see the rain-shower as a whole as well as individual little droplets detaching themselves, from the edge of the porch roof perhaps, and falling heavily down to the rain-puddle below. When the droplet touches the puddle, it makes a little, musical plink. Debussy has such a way of creating pictures in your mind!
As you might have guessed by this point, I love literature with moods. I mean, the Hardy Boys are great, but you don't get much of a mood out of them (even with all the big words; it seems that the authors decided not to use any words twice; thus for "said," you get: replied, answered, remarked, commented, added, teased, pointed out, cried, shouted, warned, etc.). I like poetry that gives you a strong mood when you read it. I once read Walter de la Mare's "The Listeners," and I was fascinated with the feeling he created with his choice of words, the rhythm, and the sound devices he used.
Ok, enough of other people's moods, it's time for me to make my own. Let me know how effective my moods are and the feelings they give you. A lot of times you have to read through the poem a few times to really let it sink in.
Here is the haiku that should have won the weekly haiku contest (instead of the dumb haiku I wrote that did). And no, haiku aren't supposed to rhyme.
Like mist, covers, envelops,
Here is a poem I wrote last year. It doesn't have any meter that I can find (you'd think I'd know), but it does rhyme. (Wait, I just realized that each line has seven syllables, if that helps. Seven...what a random number.) (Don't pay attention to any of that when you're reading it, though.)
The night breeze wafts to and fro
Round dark shapes. Softly it blows.
The moon, pale silver sliver,
Sheds its light. The grass shivers
In the sweeping trail of wind
Which whispers of where it's been.
The silent moon bathes in light
Pools which reflect moonlight bright.
Softly, the night wind goes on,
Blows, departs, and it is gone.
Sorry, Steve. If this post was a little too dramatic for you, I'll have to do a lighthearted one next. The only problem is that I haven't written very much lighthearted stuff...