Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Colors

Poem of the Day:
"Sonnet" by Wilfred Owen
The Poems of Wilfred Owen

Fireworks and the Fourth of July, as commonly paired as Barbie and Ken. We wait until the sun sets and it is dark enough to see the lights.

Owen's poem acknowledges homage, particularly his homage to Keats in the wake of the poet's death. Owen writes, "Three colours have I known the Deep to wear;/'Tis well today that Purple grandeurs gloom,/Veiling the Emerald sheen and Sky-blue glare" (lines 1-3), opening his sonnet with a focus on the sadness inherent in color choice, that is "[P]urple." Keats has recently died and this is his wake.

The surrounding sky too, in Owen's piece, is mourning; "lowly-brooding clouds now loom/In sable majesty around" (lines 4-5) and to the poet "they bear/Watery memorials of His mystic doom/Whose Name was writ in Water" (lines 6-8).

Just as Owen looks to the sky for answers in the wake of immense grief, we too turn to the sky in the act of recollection. For instance, in what direction do we look during the Fourth of July but above? On what do we focus our attention other than the "Purple grandeurs gloom"?

Colors are both a subject of mourning and of celebration; on the Fourth it seems that we acknowledge a rainbow, "[E]merald sheen" and "[S]ky-blue glare," of remembrance.

A Poem A Day Audrey


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