In case you’ve forgotten, here’s the assignment for the April Monthly Poetry Assignment:
Base assignment: use color in your poem. This can be as simple as using one word in your poem (for example, blue) or making a whole poem with the theme of color. It’s up to you!
Intermediate assignment: in addition to the base assignment, use a contrasting image someplace in your poem. This is common in sonnets, such as Shakespeare’s Sonnet 20 with the match up of “master-mistress.” Other common contrasting images used in poetry include light and dark, heavy and light, fire and ice. Feel free to step outside of the immediate examples and create your own contrasting images.
Advanced assignment: in addition to the base and intermediate assignment, use this photo to inspire your poem in some sort of fashion (outside of the color alone):
Here are the top 3 poems of April and why I picked them.
Untitled (not because he can’t think of one, but because he doesn’t title his work) by Trevor Allred:
Cool nights like blankets
Over the restless city;
Her whispers are garden walks
After quick rain,
Where blooming fruit
Sings orange to us
Between shared bites
I like Trevor’s piece because it creates a vivid picture in my mind. I think of a picnic between lovers, sharing a fruit (orange) which also happens to be the color orange.
The next poem is called Faded by Kara Douglas:
She has become as pale
As the moon above
A waft of her former self
At night she sits on the ledge
Staring up into the vastness of the sky
Pondering her existence
She used to not be this way
She used to be violet
Speaking in colors
And soaking up the sunrays
Somedays she is almost beige
But it takes a lot of bother
She prefers to remain pale
With artificial painted on veils
I love all the references to color within this poem and the imagery used. I get a clear scene of the speaker, a woman, mourning and trying to find the happiness that she once was or remember why she was once that way and giving up, to hide behind a painted mask. My favorite image from this is “speaking in colors” because it’s such an interesting phrasing. It’s almost as if I can hear this woman once being vibrant and talkative against the silent, hidden self she is now.
And, last but not least, A Cheetah of Midnight Colors by Jonathan Lugo:
A cheetah of midnight colors
covered in black and blue
licks the ripe sugar spots
stained deep like a dark red wine.
Somewhere near the outskirts
I stumble over years of solitude,
rainfall cascades down my spine
until I’m out of the tropic,
and pause in front a mirror
to trace a trail of glyphs left behind.
I might be biased here (honestly, aren’t we all?) but cheetahs were my favorite animal growing up, and I like the way color is used within this poem as well, with the dark red wine.
Stay tuned for next month’s assignment (coming to you shortly).
– Amanda Riggle