I’m taking a poetry writing course in which the teacher talked about how remarkable it is that Louise Gluck, in “The Red Poppy,” is able to evoke the color red without ever naming it:
I’m a fan of Gluck, but don’t you think the color red is put in our minds by the word “red” in the title? It’s like marveling at how “The apparition of these faces in the crowd” somehow manages to make you think of the Paris subway system (it’s the first line of Pound’s “in a Station of the Metro,” of course). Anyway, our assignment was to do the same, evoke red or blue without naming it. My contribution below isn’t a real poem, but I hope it amuses.
Obituary of Red
She had always feared boredom,
had often ordered coredumps
of Alfred’s firedamaged Apple.
She found the predictable shreds
of credos and unredeemed offers
for engineered heredity—
all foredoomed, but who cared
while they bred predators:
Airedales, or were they firedrakes?