I have been thinking about the poems in terms of colour and suddenly realised that until the fourth elegy no specific colour is mentioned; there is then one reference to brown and one to grey. This set me thinking about colour in poetry. It seems to work very differently to music. In music there seems to be a direct correlation between sound and colour. How does it work in poetry? Perhaps it is more like drawing where colour is implied. Some poems are full of immediate colour – “Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white” – and others do not mention colour at all. However, they do not seem to lack colour exactly. Difficult to explain. Maybe you are imaginatively creating the colour for yourself.

The elegies themselves veer between radiant light and deep darkness.


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