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Try This: Mood Ring Poem

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 _______________________________________

But _______________________________________.

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

dinner plate.

I hear bells—like the church tower in San Gimignano

at dusk.

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’

red glare.

I feel expansive—like wave upon wave rolling in to the

shore, an overcoat flung open, a woman on the edge

of possibility.

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

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