School-bus yellow. Fire engine red.
Dark black coffee.
Green beans, greenbacks,
Sky blue, golden rule,
brown paper sack.
Some objects are often defined by color, and likewise, some colors are defined by objects. Men have long lusted after the cherry-red Porsche, or the ruby-red lips of their lovers. The perfect little black dress is the staple of the refined lady’s closet. Children have long dreaded the color “school-bus yellow,” and the slow death march to the black board at the front of the class. College students chase the red brick house, the white picket fence.
Color associations are not just relegated to objects. Emotional states are chromatically dressed. The hot-tempered see red, while the sad are blue. The overjoyed are tickled pink. The cowardly? They’re just plain yellow.
Our pigmentatious affectations, however, seem lacking for the colors purple and indigo. Sure, Prince danced in a purple rain, but that was hardly cliche. Who’d ever heard of colored rain until the release of his 1984 album?
There is also Violet Beauregard, the ill-mannered, hyper-competitive girl in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In the 1971 film adaptation of the classic, Violet disregards the warnings of Willy Wonka and chews an experimental three-course gum until she is transformed into a one-ton indigo blueberry. Luckily, Violet ultimately finds relief on the factory juicing floor at the hands of the orange-skinned, green-haired Oompa Loompa crew. Even still, I’m not sure exactly why Violet was painted in indigo hues, nor why Dahl chose to give her the colorful name. Of course, I may be unaware of some long-held association between impertinent children and the colors violet or indigo. (If I am, please feel free to inform me in the comments below.)
It’s true; there seem to be precious few associative references to the colors purple and indigo. But today, we’re here to change that.
What objects do you most associate with colors purple and indigo? What emotional states do the colors bring to mind? For today’s poetry prompt, I’m asking you to explore those associations, to write them as vividly as you can in the comments below.
Who’s first? Go ahead; write a work that makes me green with envy.
Tweetspeak’s February Purple, Plum, and Indigo Poetry Prompt:
This month’s poetry theme at Tweetspeak is Purple, Plum, and Indigo, and we’re composing poems that play with the theme. Perhaps you can gain a bit of inspiration from this month’s playlist, from a particular piece of artwork, or from your local purveyor of plums, eggplant, or purple-hulled peas. How do you participate?
1. Think about the colors purple, plum, or indigo. Do the colors remind you of a particular place, a type of food, an experience, or a certain mood?
2. Compose a poem inspired by the theme.
3. Tweet your poems to us. Add a #PurplePoetry hashtag so we can find it and maybe share it with the world.
4. If you aren’t a twitter user, leave your poem here in the comment box.
5. At the end of the month, we’ll choose a winning poem and feature it in one of our upcoming Weekly Top 10 Poetic Picks.
This week, Karin played with the ideas of darkness, light, and hope. In “Light Cracks Indigo,” she writes:
Good work, Karin. Thanks for playing!