Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Slash of Blue - Emily Dickinson

This is currently my student Isabelle's favorite poem.  She enjoys the colorful imagery and the clever metaphors (isn't the "ruby trousers" bit delightful?).  This poem is delightfully simple and yet evocative.  Commentators suggest that the references to blue and gray in the first two lines are meant to suggest North and South, but it does seem to me as if the poem is about exactly what it appears to be about: the colors of the sky in evening and morning.

A Slash of Blue

A slash of Blue—
A sweep of Gray—
Some scarlet patches on the way,
Compose an Evening Sky—
A little purple—slipped between—
Some Ruby Trousers hurried on—
A Wave of Gold—
A Bank of Day—
This just makes out the Morning Sky.


  1. This one reminds me of the work of my grandmother, Ruth Marie Rader Rinaman. She wrote poetry throughout her adult life, inspired in part by the entry into our family by marriage of Vivian Laramore Rader, the then-Poet Laureate of Florida. Grandmom started a poetry group in St. Cloud, Florida and used a lot of the instructional materials that VLR used, I think, in teaching college classes.

    I meant to post yesterday that I enjoyed that one, as well. :-)

  2. Wow, Cindy, what a wonderful heritage to have in your family! :)