I was talking recently with a good friend, a very talented artist, who also has a love for unique literature and for writing. Having spent a lot of time in Japan, he has an immense appreciation for that country’s culture and it’s literature. He’s currently working on a book of poetry in Japanese — poems with unique subject matter and perspectives on elements of the world and life. One of the things he’s experimenting with is being able to express color in words only — so that someone who’s never seen the color can get a true sense of what it is. He asked me if I had any ideas or concepts concerning the color red that might be worked into such a piece.
I shared with him that I had actually written a short piece like that a few years ago about the color green. And the idea of doing the same thing for other colors was intriguing. So I left the conversation with his asking me to think about the color and pass on any concepts that came to me in case they provided something more he might incorporate into his work.
Well, a challenge like that is just too much to withstand, so I found my mind delving into the subject repeatedly over the next 12 hours. And, sure enough, I came up with my personal version of describing the color red in words only. I shared it with him, of course, with permission to use any of the ideas or concepts he thought would be helpful. But then I decided that my followers here and on my poetry site might enjoy it as well.
And, no worries: my sharing it here won’t step on his toes where his own work is concerned. Because the only thing he’s considering using are some of the concepts I’ve shared, not the poem itself. And, of course, since his book of poems is being written in Japanese, my English poem won’t interfere with the effect of his finished work in the least. So here’s my interpretation of that wonderful, unique color.
Red is fire and passion.
It lives; it shouts; it takes possession
Of every scene in which it plays a part.
It is the exclamation mark of life.
It speaks of blood that flows throughout our veins.
It speaks of hate that steals away that blood.
It speaks of love that overcomes all hate.
It’s energy unleashed:
Invigorating, stimulating, titillating, aggravating.
Bold, emphatic, quite dramatic;