Friday, July 11, 2008

The Colour of Poetry


Fp is responsible for this, suggesting someone post some poetry on the theme of the week. Most poets use colour as a kind of metaphorical shorthand. Green=jealousy, Purple=royalty etc. I have chosen examples where poets have tried really hard to zap a bit of colour into their work. None of it is as good as Donovan though.
It has been noted that Pope made nearly ten times as many references to colour than Shakespeare because his time co-incided with Isaac Newtons publication of Lectiones Opticae (you know, stuff about prisms), so he's up first.

Dipt in the richest Tincture of the Skies,

Where Light disports in ever-mingling Dyes,

While ev'ry Beam new transient Colours flings,

Colours that change whene'er they wave their Wings.

(Alexander Pope)


Sea waves are green and wet,

But up from where they die,

Rise others vaster yet,

And those are brown and dry

(Robert Frost)


Upon a yellow pouch I azure saw

That had the face and posture of a lion.

Proceeding then the current of my sight,

Another of them saw I, red as blood,

Display a goose more white than butter is.

And one, who with an azure sow and gravid

Emblazoned had his little pouch of white

(Dante)


Up rose the merry Sphinx,

And crouched no more in stone;

She melted into purple cloud,

She silvered in the moon;

She spired into a yellow flame;

She flowered in blossoms red;

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

5 comments:

FP said...

Thank you so much for that - I will look up those texts and, where possible' read the whole work. Got an appetite for poetry now!!! Miam miam!!!

nilpferd said...

Combining poetry, the perennial RR ducks, and this week's theme, I feel compelled to post this, which I read recently on the Classics of everyday design blog, and which arrived today in the post:

We have two ducks. One blue. One black.
And when our blue duck goes "Quack-quack"
our black duck quickly quack-quacks back.
The quacks Blue quacks make her quite a quacker
but Black is a quicker quacker backer.

Dr. Seuss

treefrogdemon said...

How about:

"I do not like green eggs and ham
I do not like them, Sam I am!"

Also from the good Doctor (along with "one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish" of course). I have just bought my grandson a copy of The Cat in the Hat for his birthday.

DarceysDad said...

I've always loved the good Doctor too. No colour references, but my favourite thing to read to either daughter is Oh The Places You'll Go

Proudfoot said...

From there to here
And here to there
Funny Spillers
Are everywhere.

Personal fave is 'The Lorax', though it's very sad. As a Green manifesto it's light years ahead of its time.