My lexicon is monochrome delineated in ink and tongued only with sound. No taste there nor jot of colour in sight I wish for permeable partitions to have each letter as a hue: colour coded by sight but with closed eyes, the very annunciation bursting like powdered paint behind the retina and my name, dotted like a pointillist portrait:
L a shock of electric blue, less thrilling in diminutive yet pretty as a starling's egg A an alabaster, pillared temple, cross-barred with marble but lower-cased, a falls like ripest apricot u in somewhat understated mode, inks itself in vintage sepia r resonates pink then orange, settling to a cushion of crushed crimson when a returns it fleshes out in yellow-orange succulence
And words are not mere alloys (else letter mix would meld as brown confetti). Each in its own discreteness, a sounding board for cup to overflow puce or Ombre shrimp-pinked violins before the music begins and a chameleon plays pitch perfect in tinted tonal mode. The poet knows best writing and reciting sounds till all the senses resonate
After I wrote this poem, I discovered Bernadette Sheridan, a synaesthete who has created coloured blocks for letters as she sees them – this is her version of my name. Try yours here
Poem that turns words into colours for Grace’s MTB prompt: Synaesthesia
35 thoughts on “Colour me senseless”
I can really feel the pain of synaesthesia with this
spelling of my name, dotted like a pointillist portrait
followed by that burst of colors, like a painter high as a kite.
Maybe as poets we should be happy to paint just with words.
ahh not literally – that would be a tatoo! I think we always try to paint sounds but I know I get lost in and for words
This says it all:
“The poet knows best
writing and reciting sounds
and all the senses
Color, imagery, and our captivating mind’s eye translates language, literally, emotionally, and figuratively. You describe this very well and complex. Beautiful poem.
many thanks Lucy – whilst stretching imagination round coloured letters and words I nearly forgot that it is most often sounds that evoke the colour synaesthesia and that is what the poet is after
I like how you shaped your poem. It has the feel of stream of consciousness. I went to the link to see my name in color. Interesting.
thanks – that’s reassuring as had to work hard for this one!
You are very welcome as you made it flow so well.
I think you’ve imagined the synesthete’s experience very well here, and the final lines are just perfect because they sum up the task of a poet: thinking like a synesthete all the time!
Thank you Ingrid – took a while to make the partitions more permeable
The shape and powerful words specially in the middle part, made this a strong music to my ears. I love the burst of your imagination, like an unfolding of rainbow colors to overcome the monochrome. My cup overflows with your portrait of colors.
such lovely feedback Grace – many thanks! I am glad you heard the music as it seems colour synaesthetes responds to the sounds more than see the shapes
Evocative, alluring and most importantly this poem is absolutely brilliant! I love; “And words are not mere alloys (else letter mix would meld as brown confetti).” 💝
I really appreciate your appreciation of this poem Sanaa x
Agree with everything the other poets said here, and as a non-poet can only say: I love it! The visual of “bursting like powdered paint behind the retina” captured me specifically.
Went to check my own name in colours – the nickname is appealing but the full name with the reds … gaaaah 🙂
thank you for feeding back on this one Kiki (strange to be writing in colour as it were when my photography is loving monochrome).
p.s. Ah but the reds indicate passion!
Oh dear, passion just doesn’t go with the Covid-19 lifestyle 😀
no but red rage does!
I adore the shape and form of this poem, Laura, the way it begins with a lexicon ‘monochrome / delineated in ink and tongued / only with sound’ and progresses to the annunciation of letters ‘bursting like powdered paint behind the retina’. The lowercase a falling ‘like ripest apricot’ made my mouth water – that’s got to be a form of synesthesia too! We sort of chimed in the lines: ‘…words are not mere alloys / (else letter mix would meld as brown confetti)’.I agree, the poet does know best! I tried Bernadette Sheridan’s blocks and am delighted with my colours.
as always Kim you give such considered feedback – thank you for this. yes the poem follows the poet into (the struggle) of imagination but the end reassures that the way in is an auditory one rather than visual
Your poem made me think of walking over the keys of a xylophone. The blind letters ring with colour.
such a brilliantine comment – thank you Jane
Love it. It sings right through stronger and stronger ending in a colorful crescendo.
Wonderful words – thank you
Resonant and resonating with color and sound and feeling: marvelously crafted.
Many thanks Dora – a full stretch of the imagination I needed for this prompt
Dare I say you fully pulled it off? 😀
you are most kind ❤
I like the way you’ve made a diorama of your name. (K)
Had not seen it like that – nicely observed!
I love the third part where you describe your name… esp. a as apricot
Had to include my fruitiness! Thank you 😊
I enjoyed this so much. It’s so well constructed, and loved the way you described your name, and then the ending with the poet knows best. There is lovely sound in this.
what a lovely comment Merrill – thank you
p.s. sorry to miss your prompt but am rather caught up with other things at the moment
I understand. I can’t do or read every dVerse prompt–and I’m behind on everything! 😀
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