Updated: Dec 11, 2019
Every now and then I find a writing prompt that is so much fun it requires wider sharing. Mood Ring, from Writing from the Senses: 59 Exercises to Ignite Your Creativity and Revitalize Your Writing by Laura Deutsch, is just such a prompt. In this exercise you will use similes to create a poem based on an emotion. This is the template for your poem:
Mood Ring Poem
Pick an emotion—joy, anger, frustration, sadness, etc.—and complete your own poem.
When I feel [name emotion] ______________________________
It is the color _________________________________ - like _________________________________
I hear _______________________________ - like _________________________________________
I taste ___________________________ - like _____________________________________________
I smell _________________________ - like ______________________________________________
I see ________________________________ - like _________________________________________
I feel _______________________________ - like __________________________________________
I want to _______________________________ and _______________________________________
Here’s an example provided in the book (pg. 182):
When I feel joy
It is the color yellow—like a sunflower the size of a
I hear bells—like the church tower in San Gimignano
I taste watermelon—like a sweet crunchy snow cone
from a sidewalk vendor.
I smell roses—like the ones that climbed the split-rail
fence in my father’s garden.
I see sparkles and twinkles—like the fireworks in Salt
Lake City as we lay on blankets beneath the rockets’
I feel expansive—like wave upon wave rolling in to the
shore, an overcoat flung open, a woman on the edge
I want to run and laugh.
But I am writing.
You can also work with a darker emotion. For contrast, here’s the mood ring poem I wrote in a workshop last month. (During the break I did notice people edging toward the door, but I’m sure I was just imagining it!)
When I feel anger
It is the color black-red—like the embers of a dying fire
that could flare up at any moment.
I hear sirens—like a five-alarm fire in Queens
on a Saturday night.
I taste bitter melon, pepper, and bile—like a bad meal
in Chinatown that leaves you heaving
over the toilet.
I smell tar—like every dusty road crew in America, like Satan
in his smoky caverns.
I see jagged glass and twisted metal—like a car accident
on the freeway.
I feel like tearing something open—like a hyena with a thrashing gazelle,
jaws dripping blood and lust in her eyes.
I want to scream and break things.
But I write it down instead.
Why don’t you try it? If you’re inclined, please share it in the comments section below. It would be fun to see your creation!
Mood ring image from Pinterest