What are the tone and mood of the poem "Black Woman"?

The tone of the poem "Black Woman" is reverential, and the mood is celebratory.

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In the poem "Black Woman" the speaker personifies the African continent as a beautiful and proud Black woman. He describes the beauty of this woman, and thus the beauty of Africa, in a reverential tone, almost like a hymn written in praise of God.

At the beginning of the poem the speaker exclaims that Africa is "Clothed with your colour which is life, / with your form which is beauty!" The reverential tone here is implied by the exclamatory form of the sentence, and also by the direct address of the second person pronoun "your." The direct address implies that the speaker's praise of Africa is personal and sincere.

Throughout the poem the speaker celebrates the beauty of Africa by using sensual imagery. For example, the speaker describes the African savannah "shuddering beneath the East Wind's / eager caresses." He also describes the "Firm-fleshed ripe fruit" and the "black wine, mouth making lyrical." This sensual imagery gives the poem the mood and tone typical of a love poem. The speaker speaks to and of Africa as one lover might speak to and of another.

Throughout the poem the speaker repeats the phrase "Naked woman, dark woman," or sometimes "Naked woman, black woman." The repetition of these phrases, often as single-line stanzas, suggests that the beauty of Africa, described throughout the poem, is synonymous with the nakedness and darkness, or blackness, of Africa. The implication is that Africa is beautiful because of its Blackness, which it does not need to hide, or clothe. This repeated idea contributes to the celebratory mood and reverential tone of the poem.

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