Thursday, 16 September 2010

Ten Favourite Colour Names

Not necessarily favourite colours. Don't know if I have those... Names that are colours.

Prussian Blue

Monastral Blue

Crimson Lake


Cerulian Blue

Payne's Grey

Raw Sienna


Lamp Black

ps reserves bench:


*note: The trees must be ten years old before they are tapped. The resin is extracted by making spiral incisions in the bark, and by breaking off leaves and shoots and letting the milky yellow resinous gum drip out. The resulting latex is collected in hollow bamboo canes. After the resin is congealed, the bamboo is broken away and large rods of raw gamboge remain.
The first recorded use of gamboge as a color name in English was in 1634.

Like chocolates, only better. Far better. Many of them in fact poems - the 'colour sonnets' extending over several books.


Mark Granier said...

The names are wonderful, aren't they? I wrote a small sequence of four poems, Primaries, in which the last poem (Black) uses one of the above in its refrain (the other titles were the three primary colours). Here's two of them:


broke the yolk, breaks
and enters a bedroom overlooking a street,
sears onto faded striped wallpaper a glowing ingot,

sends broad Gothic shafts freighted with dust-sparks
through clouded glass doors of lounge-bars,
drowns the TV soccer game to a dull roar,

smelts the glacial tower blocks,
gilds rush-hour windscreens, tickles shadows
walking the West Pier to stiffen and bloom,

gives to the city’s set face, gratis, these armfuls of ore,
invites it to stretch, to wallow.


Ivory black, Mars black, Lamp black –

Painters know black isn’t only
and merely black

any more than a blackbird, glossed by sun,
with its yellow beak,
is merely black

or the zero blackness of space – that is nothing
without the stars’ frost –
is merely black

or the reflective widening pools at the centre
of the eyes of a loved one
are merely

Ivory black, Mars black, Lamp black

Mark Granier said...
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George S said...

Thank you for the poems, Mark. They really are delicious. Very good indeed.

Poet in Residence said...

Gamboge on the bench, that I can along with.

But George, no Burnt Umber? A striker if ever there was one.

George S said...

Doesn't Burnt Umber suggest that the striker has already struck, Gwilym? It might have been another match, of course.

That's two puns in two sentences. I'll go and lie down for an hour now.

Poet in Residence said...

21 million from Man C. for burnt-out striker Rocky Santa Cruz was a bit of good business. Almost unmatchable I'd say. We didn't even get that for Shearer. Thank you Sparky!

Enjoy your lie down, George.

charles said...

Indian yellow. I once met Francis Bacon at a number 14 bus stop. I opened my idiotic mouth and began rambling about how I was on my way (to Brodie & Middleton, Covent Garden) to buy some Indian yellow; how it derives from the urine of cows in Rajasthan, how there'd been a drought recently and supplies were running low and - well, then, thank god, the bus arrived, and I hurried up to the top deck. Not one of Bacon's favourite colours.

Anonymous said...

Also benched, as chronically unreliable, is Madder Lake.

Poet in Residence said...

hi charles, nice story. I think he liked Parma Pink, Roman Purple and Undusted Gold.