Color is one of the best sources for artistic inspiration. Because people can easily create color metaphors, it is also a wonderful topic for poetry. During the poetry unit in my 8th grade Language Arts class, I have my students create color poems. The poems that come from this assignment are incredible! The creativity and individuality of each student shines through as they apply their knowledge of poetic devices in an enjoyable (and meaningful) way. My color poem examples (below) show students that color can have both positive and negative connotations. I chose to pay homage to the color black. Which color will you choose?
Ode to Black
Black is a whisper dancing in silence,
A simple and sincere “I love you”
Before we fall asleep.
Black is the night sky adorned with diamonds,
Jewels that glitter until the dawn.
Black is the dress that makes me look skinny
Just in time for our dinner reservations.
Black is my absolute favorite pen,
Ink flowing smoothly, captured thoughts on whatever’s
Paper, napkin, receipt, hand.
Black is the dark corner
Where we hide our kisses from prying eyes.
Black is the television screen
Because we choose to have a conversation instead.
Black is a Tahitian pearl pendant,
Iridescent graduation gift.
Black is the raven
Black is the crow,
Most intelligent birds,
Precise and protective,
Opportunists proactively pondering the next move.
Black is the tablet of missing pages,
Evidence of my first love letters to you.
Black is the shading in my tattoos,
Five-pronged needle breathing life into pictures
I wish to keep forever.
Black is the sand squished between our toes
On a sunshiny day in mid-July.
Black is a mystery,
Beauty in black,
A secret kept from everyone
Odium to Black
Black is a shadow, stale sliver of darkness
Black is burnt toast
When you’re already late for work.
Black is the heart of a cheating lover,
Giver of lies, taker of trust.
Black is the ash of destruction,
Corpses stained by charred remains.
Black be the spot sending ye
To Davy Jones locker for all yar eternity.
Black is the eye
That shouldn’t have been looking in the first place.
Black is the book of numbers
That you shouldn’t have in your underwear drawer.
Black is the box, lone survivor,
Keeper of secrets, buried deep below
Twisted metal and broken glass.
Black is a cavity
Eroding my ability to enjoy a Snickers.
Black is an empty trashcan
Surrounded by litter, feeling useless
Black is the widow sobbing
Hunched over a fresh grave,
Brave soldier sent home with a flag and a casket.
Black is the rabid dog
Made strong with rocks and chains.
Black is the night you walked away.
Black because you never came back.
Silver is a mirror,
My reflections and memories.
Silver is a shiver,
Shaking off the cold.
Silver is the fence that keeps my dog
From biting you,
Luckily, it’s also the chain that keeps your dog from biting me.
See the silver sparkle in our eyes because we feel protected.
Silver is the rim of my grandpa’s
Bud Light can,
Moist with condensation
As he talks away the afternoon.
Silver on the table,
His coins for gambling
Which, little does he know,
Will end up in my pocket anyway.
Silver are the tears streaming,
Hearts cold like the stainless steel
Countertop in the doctor’s office
When you’re afraid of the test results.
Silver is the bullet
You shot into my soul
On the night you walked out of my life.
Starlight dancing over
My heartbroken face.
Silver is the surfer
On a Marvel comic book,
Fighting crime one page at a time.
Silver is the transformer
In my brother’s toy box
Before he left it out in the rain to rust.
Silver is admiration, vanity, and hope.
Silver is everything and nothing at all.
~K. Koali H.
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