The Colours of poetry

Hands up who loves poetry?

I have to confess, I don’t love it all. There are some poems I don’t think I’m smart enough to understand. However, there are also some that have been transformative in my life.

One such poem is The Eve of St.Agnes by Keats. I first read it in a dusty old book I bought at a jumble sale some time ago. It’s the words, the pace and the romance that does it (read it if you’re a fan of Romeo & Juliet).

But one of the main things that grabbed me when I first read it as a teenager was the reference to texture, sensation and, of course, colour.

Colours in Keats’ The Eve of St Agnes

Woven throughout are references to colour:

‘And still she slept an azure-lidded sleep, in blanched linen’

‘…he heap’d with glowing hand on golden dishes and in baskets bright’

‘Her blue affrayed eyes wide open shone’

‘And diamonded with panes of quaint device, Innumerable of stains and splendid dyes’.

Oh, and of course the hero is called Porphyro, which means purple. Delicious. I’m on the hunt for colourful poetry: do you know of any?

Martha, The Colour File x 

Leave a Reply