Red

Hello, everyone! Today I was going through my past tweets, and I found a poem from junior year I wanted to share! If you follow me on Twitter, I posted this poem last year (I was not a junior last year, but I found it in my Google Drive and posted it), so sorry if you’ve already seen it. I wrote this poem using basically every single word the thesaurus gave me for “red”. Without further ado, I present, “Red”:

The glowing neon sign,

Of the bar you met her at.

Bloodshot eyes’ reflection,

Thoughts of you that keep me up.

Warm liquid down my arm,

To ease the pain inside.

Tears at the sight,

Of an old abandoned barn.

Wobbly steps and relief,

From the grapes in my glass.

Therapy and prescription bottles,

The pills I take for happiness.

Your favorite fruit in the fridge,

And the sweater you left behind.

The color of my finger,

When I touched the thorns you gave me.

There’s so many places I see it,

The color that I hate.

Crimson, burgundy, ruby,

Coral, maroon, cherry.

Sanguine, blush, brick,

Vermilion, currant, rose.

Lust, desire, passion,

Love, energy, strength.

Anger, hatred, fire,

Blood, fury, rage.

It doesn’t matter how you say it,

You’ve made me colorblind.

So, there you have it, one of the few surviving poems I wrote from junior year. Let me know what you think of it in the comments, I’m open to constructive criticism. Have a great day!

15 thoughts on “Red

  1. Verse is very personal, particularly emotional verse such as this one. The emotions are forcefully expressed here, and that is good in my view. There is a problem, i think, with PoV, or perhaps it might be said with identity. The opening couplet “The glowing neon sign, / Of the bar you met her at.” seems to imply a third person, “her” in addition to the “you” and “”I/me” who appear through the verse. The relationship is unclear: is “her” the same person as ‘me”? If not, how does “she” fit into this verse, which is otherwise solely about “you” and “me”? To me that is a flaw. Of course, my verse often has flaws also. I admit to a preference for formal verse, but that is merely a matter of taste.

  2. David E. Siegel, “her” in the second line is the other woman that the guy (you) left the main character (I) for. Hence why the main character is so depressed.

  3. That makes sense, Athena, but I don’t see how a reader could determine that without your explanation.

    Do you enjoy formal verse at all? By that I mean verse that adheres to a specific form, not ‘formal” as the opposite of casual. I have posted a few at poetry soup, but gotten few responses. There is so much out there after all. Of late i am mostly doing sestinas and terzenelles, but I have done other forms, including sonnets, heroic couplets, and limericks.

    https://www.poetrysoup.com/poem/the_blossoms_of_spring_470752 is one of mine.

  4. I haven’t read much poetry recently but I read ‘Red’ with interest and liked its impressions of color and conflict. We can find inspiration almost anywhere but I hadn’t thought of looking in a thesaurus!

  5. I like this very much, the almost jumbled imagery at the outset conveying the mood, then the recitation of colors giving way to the list of associated emotions, and I totally, totally, love the ending line. Personally, I like the fact that the opening is a bit “smudged” as regards point of view, the identity of “her”, etc. – to me, that adds to the tone and encourages the reader to slow down and consider those lines carefully rather than rushing through. It also contributes to the flavor of the piece, suggesting that there is a larger story that’s been distilled into a handful of glimpses.

  6. With the note that I am likely terribly ignorant of current trends in evaluating poetic quality, I liked it. Nice vivid imagery. I don’t know if you’ve seen “Mask” with Eric Stoltz (not to be confused with “The Mask” with Jim Carey) but there’s a scene there where he’s trying to describe colors to his blind love interest using tactile props. It comes to mind because I think this poem would serve as a similar prop to describe heartbreak to somebody that hadn’t experienced it.

  7. I’ve no argument with David S.’s above comments on POV and identity. Yet, I read the poem and enjoyed it without being bothered by the issue he calls to attention. And as a poet as well, I do have a publishing history apart from the the internet (real books mind you). I think sometimes we just need to read the poem and enjoy it for what it is without parsing things too closely. Bottom line? I enjoyed reading your poem. Thanks for sharing.

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