Thursday, January 02, 2014

Red Teakettle

[to Natalia (who gave me the red teakettle)]


red teakettle.
colour of roses.
or cherries.

depending on the light from one window.
your whistling is not merry.
but a shriek from Xanadu.

perfect for vesuvial tea
each time I'm reading and
forget you're on the stove.

forgive me.

at Christmas I will pour you
into an emerald cup.
but you are not seasonal.

on grey days against walls
the color of pale butter
you try to shine like rubies
in a cockpit kitchenette
designed by dolls.

mary angela douglas 2 january 2014


Note on the poem:  Though I am American I have always loved the British spelling "colour".  In my poems I use the British spelling (colour) to convey (as it does to me) an exuberant colour or feeling.  When I use the plainer American spelling, "color" (and not to say I feel all American spelling is plain, by any means) it is to convey a certain diminishment of feeling or color, something subdued.  Very hard to explain this without having a third spelling!

It makes me happy to do so.  In the sixth grade when I was twelve and had finished Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre for the first time,  I started using "colour" in all my papers for school and kept getting marked down for it in red ink (you can guess the ink was the color red). 

Privately I thought, Charlotte Bronte could not be mistaken.  Every time I use "colour" thinking back on this, I feel a tiny sense of victory. Colour. Colour Colour.