Without black there would be no contrast

nowhere to hang the moon and stars
fireworks and bonfire sparks
no colour to express the dog of depression
no clarity of words in books
no shadows in the sleep-soaked room at night
the pair of complicit magpies
haunting the garden­
(two for joy)
would be all white
their once glossy jet feathers and impertinent tails
cocked like exclamation marks
no longer punctuating their echoing
cacophonous chatter
and garrulous garden gossip

Kim M. Russell, 5th November 2019

343 European Magpie Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: On Shades of Black

Anmol is our host for another week of dVerse Poetics. He says that black has been at the forefront of his mind and sight lately, as he has been thinking about its different shades, myriad interpretations and meanings, historical representations and contemporary assertions, its colourlessness and all-pervasiveness.

Today, he prompts us to share what comes to our minds when we picture ‘black’: what does it mean to us or what does it stand for? He says we can venture into different areas like identity, materialism, personal experiences, physics, et al or we can simply incorporate the word ‘black’ in our titles and poems.

To help us explore the realms of blackness, he has shared poems by Mary Oliver, Rilke, Gwendolyn Brooks and Paul Celan.

33 thoughts on “Without black there would be no contrast

  1. Black has got a bad rap sheet, synonymous with evil and other bad things. Not only is black needed for contrast, it’s needed to color the world. The entire color spectrum is hidden in its darkness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “no clarity of words in books”

    This leaps out at me, with my love of books. This is an excellent examination of the essentials that black provides in our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the sound of those last two lines. And oh how right you are….we are indebted to the color black. I never did agree with that villain/black and purity/white idea. Realizing that in the color wheel, white is an absence and black is a fullness (all colors combined) seems to bring, for me, a clearer understanding.

    Liked by 1 person

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