poetry critical

online poetry workshop

Allegory in Colours

Long ago in Liverpool
lived an occidental little man
who ran his life by an odd plan
of vivid colour—oh just one—
a yellow rule he used for truthing
beneath a sooted yellow roofing.
He married tints and tucked inside
a dainty foot-bound Chinese bride
and kept one dog and later two
(Labradors run yellow too).
By nights for days he watched and summed
the rising and the setting suns
accounting that if each were gold
he'd grasp for either that—or soul.
The little man aged on enriched
on yellow stuff to quell an itch—
propounding from his life's lapels
where thumbs on those flaps
hooked his yell
"Lo! It is sage to age
all seasons saffron."
His height increased
but only sideways
on suet with admixed annatto
until his yellow Nile ran blue
(that is to say his liver's liquor
pooled and sank him ever sicker).
"When bile quits one must quit life"
he scratched to then-near-parchment wife.
"Yellow isn't and it was never
a brave man's hue for last retreats.
By God I won't
go ever. Not
till my humours turn
g r e e n  c h e e s e
—or the moon returns in—oh!
suddenly I see.  At last
the only colour true is
as he turned that shade and passed.

read aloud by author:

16 May 08

Rated 10 (10) by 1 users.
Active (1):
Inactive (3): 9, 10, 10, 10

(define the words in this poem)
(181 more poems by this author)

(2 users consider this poem a favorite)

Add A Comment:
Enter the following text to post as unknown: captcha


old poem much worked over--I will settle for this trim as the final version.
thank you for all the prior helps, insights all.
 — netskyIam

I can't tell you what I like but this is charming, kind of quaint and fun to read.  
 — Isabelle5

I like it too, a good read, funny character, interesting idea of colors; hmm does it say in the end that we may never know the truth, we are deceiving?
 — nisetru

i love this enough for me to say
i'm yellow with envy but...

all i'm saying is...

very good work, moniker in b-blue.
not me b-but you.

of course.
: )
 — fractalcore

explains why it is so good. seems like it went through many revisions. really good idea, especially for this poem, with a genuine wealth of what people like to call poetry.

i like this is all. well distinguished and established, voice strong and truthful.

nice job.
 — listen

my only suggestion is can the first two words of the title. seems more finished without it.

also the repetition of the title; deleting that would make use of ridding five words of an otherwise well done poem.
 — listen

a pity about L4
 — unknown

this is pretty much top of the line jerry, and you've managed to make poetry really readable for people who can't read very well. signed, george bush
 — joey