What is pink? a rose is pink
By a fountain’s brink.
What is red? a poppy’s red
In its barley bed.
What is blue? the sky is blue
Where the clouds float thro’.
What is white? a swan is white
Sailing in the light.
What is yellow? pears are yellow,
Rich and ripe and mellow.
What is green? the grass is green,
With small flowers between.
What is violet? clouds are violet
In the summer twilight.
What is orange? Why, an orange,
Just an orange!
I like this poem very much because it plays with different simple colours by explaining what they look like using imagery that is positive and of beauty in nature. The poet could have chosen something negative to relate to different colours. But the poet invites us to see things in positivity and in beauty. After using positive similarities and parallels for different colours for several times, the poet is quite witty and mischievous by making a lazy and assumable representation and at the same time making a pun at the very end of the poem which makes the whole poem very funny. What’s more, the poem has a couplet rhyme scheme which makes reading very musical and eloquent.
I think that by questioning what each colour is, the poet emphasises the importance of each color and its merit and virtue and helps us recognise their beauty in nature around us in our everyday life. It is not a difficult thing to find out beauty in our mundane daily life if we try to look at things carefully just around us at different moments of time.