Blue: Poems Inspired by Color

Photo by Steve Johnson on

Of all the colors of the rainbow, I fight with blue the most. Ironically, my closet is filled with dress shirts of various shades of blue, and it’s not even my favorite color! (For the record, I do have shirts of other colors, and my favorite color is actually orange.) We associate so many things with blue, but I imagine that most of us would think of sorrow or depression — the blues, if you know what I mean. And that is immediately where this poem began.

“I fight with you, blue
much more than any other.”

from “Habitual Blues” by Vincent H. Anastasi

When I started writing this poem, the first two lines came as naturally as breathing. I fight feelings of depression, inadequacy, and moments of melancholy at times throughout the year. Frequently, I am able to pinpoint just what triggered me, like working on bills or a rough day at work, but at other times, it just falls on me like a warm wet blanket. I was there again just last night.

There are many aspects of the poem intentionally crafted to suggest the habitual struggle with depression such as the repeated rhymes, especially the back-to-back “blue” rhymes in the odd lines of the poem. However, as you move from the second to the third octave, the double “blue” rhymes lift, the syllabic count just begins to expand a bit in the odd lines, the even rhymes change, and, despite the sunset foreshadowing evening, hope begins to burst through.

When your days are most remarkably blue, may you have eyes to see beyond the sunset to the joy that comes with the morning. As a fellow poet recently said (see my last post), “Befriend the day.” Yes and Amen!

Habitual Blues

Vincent H. Anastasi - 2021

I fight with you, blue,
much more than any other.
I'm black and blues'd - true -
when sorrow works me over.
Then what I choose, snooze;
I slumber 'neath the covers
'til morning's blue news,
the struggle rediscovered.

I sing the tune, blues,
though silence is my cover
and paint subdued hues,
my face the canvas colored.
Morose, my muse stews
on thoughts that have me smothered
'til hope to blue brews
seeks solace with bleak brothers.

Yet sunset summer cues
foretell a promised dawning,
and though night's gloom ensues,
there's joy comes with the morning
when deepest blues imbue
the skies with light returning,
and welkin wonders strew
my soul with blissful burning!

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