April 12, 2016

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Spicing Up Your Poetry Friday: 2014 Poetry Project

Happy Valentine's Day, Writerly Friends! Welcome back to Author Amok's 2014 Poetry Project. All this month, I invite you to write in response to Pantone paint colors. You can read about the project at my introductory post.

One of our project regulars, Linda Baie, is hosting Poetry Friday at her blog Teacher Dance today. Tango on over there for some happy heart day treats and poems.

From Atlas Obscura
Before we dig into our chocolate hearts, let's give a little attention to the holiday's patron saint.

According to Catholic Online, "St. Valentine was martyred in the third century for the crime of marrying Christian couples and his refusal to pay homage to the Roman emperor as a living deity. Before his death ... St. Valentine cured a young woman of blindness. He wrote at least one letter to this fortunate woman which he signed with, 'your Valentine.' Nothing in the legend suggests that the relationship between the pair was romantic, but rather it was rooted deeply in Christian love. In honor of St. Valentine, we too are also called to brotherly and sisterly love."

That's an idea I can get behind.

You will notice that, on this icon, Valentine's robes are Paprika red. The carpet he is standing on might be called Burnt Russet. His beard and hair, 4975 C on the Choctone chart.

Day 13 Paprika
Pantone ®  17-1553

Day 13 Burnt Russet
Pantone ®  19-1530
Patricia VanAmburg's spicy little poem is fitting for the modern meaning of Valentine's Day.

by Patricia VanAmburg

Wrapping a knit shawl
over her winter coat
the woman drives thirty 
miles through a blizzard
to meet her illicit lover
in a Hungarian restaurant.

Diane Mayr, who blogs at Random Noodling every Poetry Friday, shared this poem about the orange-red spice.

Pieprz  [pee-epp-zh]by Diane Mayr

she called it.
It sounded exotic to my
third-generation ears.

I never asked what
it was, if I had, I would
have been told "paprika."

Instead, I knew it as red
fairy dust until the time
I lost my belief in fairies.

Since I gave us all the option of writing in response to one of the Choctone colors, I decided to take myself up on the challenge. How about a Valentine's Day chocolate ad as a found poem?

Those of you who are missing a loved one on Valentine's Day may want to skip this poem and its accompanying ad. They are in *terrible* taste -- my twisted sense of humor shining through.

Bad Romance
by Laura Shovan

If you had no idea
what to get her
for Valentine's Day
imagine how overwhelming
arranging her funeral
would be.
Since you can never choose
between chocolate heart
and chocolate diamonds,
how will you decide--
when the time comes--
on burial or cremation?
Let us add some compassion
to your burning passion.
It's a kind of flirtation,
planning the end,
your twin urns nestled
on the mantle
above a roaring fire.
It's a gift guaranteed
to make your sweetie's heart
melt faster than the most
expensive chocolate.

Featured at UK's Telegraph under the headline
"Stumped for a Gift? Try a Funeral"
Buffy Silverman's got a sense of humor as warped as my own. Let's just say the heart in her poem is more anatomical than Hallmark.

She writes that her Burnt Russet poem is "perhaps in bad taste for Valentine's Day, but my strange brain went back to the days of teaching intro bio."

Burnt Russet

by Buffy Silverman (Buffy's Blog)

The fetal pig's heart lay
scenting the air,
burnt russet
spilling from its

If you've got a hankering for all things red, or for chocolate, and want to share, leave your poem or written response to today's Pantone colors in the comments.

Later today, I'll post a wrap-up of all this week's Pantone Poems. Our Day 14 color is Oxblood Red. If you've got time for one last Week 2 poem, I'll include it in the post.

Day 14 Oxbood Red
Pantone ®  19-1524
There's still time to join the Pantone Poetry Project. Let's look a head to the colors for next week.

Saturday 2/15: Lemon Meringue, Margarita
Sunday 2/16: Jolly Green, Cabaret
Monday 2/17: Dubarry
Tuesday 2/18: Papaya Punch
Wednesday 2/19: Orange Pepper, Soothing Sea
Thursday 2/20: Silver Bullet, Rhapsody
Friday 2/21: Poseidon, Tornado, Aqua Splash

Can't wait? Here's a recipe from


Heidi Mordhorst said...

Hi, Laura! Happy snow days...and thanks for the review of who St. Val actually was, and for mapping his portrait onto Pantone, and for the Choctone color chart hee! But most I appreciate the heads-up on this week's colors--maybe I can get ahead.

Diane Mayr said...

Thanks, Laura, for another delightful post. I love the ad and your poem! I'm looking forward to the next batch of colors!

Doraine said...

I love your twisted sense of humor!

patricia said...

Love today's blog. Don't forget that St. Valentine was superimposed on Lupercalia--Roman feast of wolves and fertility.

jama said...

What a strange ad -- love how you ran with it in your "twisted" poem. :)

Wonderful spicy poems too.

Linda B said...

Love them all. What a strange humor in the ad-you made it even better, Laura. And I think it pushed me into a strange memory. Here's one to add!

Even Oxblood Red Can Be Romantic

It’s romantic,
I remember when
you hit your head
and blood pooled
in the hat, which
you held, leaning over.
The blood darkened
to oxblood red.
It was Valentine’s Day.
With your goofy grin,
you said: “Guess we’ll
celebrate in the ER!”
You bought us a Hersey bar
from the vending machine,
best chocolate ever!
Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

Author Amok said...

Thanks, Patricia. I will have to look up Lupercalia. I've never heard of it. Sounds exciting and a little dangerous.

Author Amok said...

Linda -- great poem. I love off-kilter Valentines (can you tell?) I'll be sure to post yours later today, along with an Oxblood Red poem from Diane Mayr.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

You know, I actually did get VERY close to sending you something for Turbulence. Alas, the turbulence in my daily routine prevented me from completing it. Hoping this week will be different!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Oops, pressed submit just a bit too soon. Also wanted to compliment both of these fabulous paprika poems, as well as your morbidly mahvelous love poem, Dahling.

Buffy Silverman said...

Your poem made me laugh, Laura. Here's mine--also perhaps in bad taste for Valentine's Day, but my strange brain went back to the days of teaching intro bio.

Burnt Russet

The fetal pig's heart lay
scenting the air,
burnt russet
spilling from its

Diane Mayr said...

Buffy, what an anti-Valentine's sentiment!

I remember that formaldehyde stench, even after all these years.

Tara said...

So fabulous to see where poetic minds wander...even in their twisted humor! That ad was beyond odd - can't imagine the Mad Men behind that!

Carmela Martino said...

What a strange ad. Love how it inspired your poem, though.
Thanks for sharing your lesson on voice on my post today. Happy Valentine's Day to you!

GatheringBooks said...

Love how moribund Valentine's is here! Appeals to my darker nature. :) Flowers are overrated - funeral arrangements trump that anytime of the day. Wonderful. Great poetry project too!

Bridget Magee said...

Amazing that an ad like that exists, but I love the poem it inspired. Thanks for the insight into St. Valentine - I had no idea! Happy Valentines Day, Laura! <3

Donna Smith said...

I'm so glad I didn't get funeral arrangements for Valentine's Day, though, oh, so practical. Maybe I'll try a color or two. They sound challenging and fun!