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One of my favorite things about the use of color in poetry and in narrative writing is its symbolism. However, with color symbols come cliches: red for passion and love, white for purity, green for envy—but the presence of color can say so much more about an image how often it’s used and how. 

William Carlos Williams is notoriously used as an example for his use of color. (He was born on this day!) You can read his famous poem here.

SPARKcon 2012

Raleigh street painting.

poetrySPARK 2012

Poetry on Demand in Raleigh

This past weekend was SPARKcon. Remember last year’s poetrySPARK festivities? Well, downtown Raleigh got some lipstick and rouge and everything in between this weekend. Our Poetry on Demand Booth broke every record and we wrote over 200 poems–proving yet again that poets make more than minimum wage! With all the colors downtown, it reminded me of some advice I give writers in my critique group and at poetry workshops whenever I see them using colors or struggling with an image:

Use a color wheel.

Paint sites like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams have fantastic color wheels to inspire you. Find the exact shade you were imagining or just browse the delightful names for inspiration:

pale avocado, cream silk, garland green, gulfstream, tricorn black, determined orange

If you’re feeling girly, check out nail polish site OPI or a hair dye site like Garnier for colors like:

Chicago champagne toast, Pompeii purple, cool tea, sweet cola

For those moments when you just want to get away from the computer and need more tactical stimulation, go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and pick up a few color swatches to leave on your desk.