Blue Ink

Blue is a memory
of days at primary school:
of dipping pens into inkwells,
the scratch of italic nibs,
and a summer sky outside
the classroom window,
copying a poem by Blake
or some old poet on lined
paper, a blue tint of words.
Blue was the colour
of our uniform, much darker
than ink, more like the night,
hiding stains and individuality:
normality in navy blue.

Kim M. Russell, 27th November 2019

Image result for italics in blue ink

My response to Thotpurge’s Poetry Tuesday #4 – Blue, also linked to Poets and Storytellers United Writers’ Pantry #48

Rajani says that for the last Poetry Tuesday offering this November, the prompt is ‘Blue’ – sky, sea, mood, music, sapphires, ink – blue is where poems begin!

39 thoughts on “Blue Ink

  1. Sigh.. I miss my blue uniform and my blue ink pen too!!!! Such precious memories! And before the pens that had those ink-filler-things attached, we had little droppers that were used to fill ink in the pens- made a godawful mess too!!! Thanks for reminding me of the good ol’ days, Kim! And am so glad you made it to Poetry Tuesday. Hope you get better soon! Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this poem. Needed a feel good today.Forgot about ink wells and nib pens. Gosh we’ve come a long way People of our age have been through so many changes. That is why we are so interesting:) One of my favourite poems of yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I couldn’t help thinking of blue pencil editing, reinforced by your last line. Some colors are abused. We used blue at a newspaper, as it didn’t show up in the photo technology. In school, my work was red penciled. When I was a teacher, I used green. I wonder if it made a difference.

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  4. OH MY GOODNESS! I had forgotten inkwells, and what a mess I made on the paper, doing thoose circles they made us do – mine always scratched through the paper. I am only surprised there were not more spilled inkwells. Today they would ALL be spilled. LOL. But we were scared of our teachers back then.

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    1. I loved school, Robin, until I had to move from grammar to comprehensive, where I felt very uncomfortable, as I was better at English, languages, art and music, and didn’t do domestic science with the other girls.


  5. Inkwells weren’t part of our writing–I seem to remember thick pencils and that Denelian (sp?) cursive workbook. Love the way blue washes over everything in this, from the sky to the ink and gives the feeling of one thing melting into another.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My school days were different. No uniform for one. The desks in elementary (grammar) school had holes where ink bottles would have gone, but they weren’t used anymore. I never did copywork either. I enjoyed the “memories” in the poem, whether yours or the narrators though. I use black pens.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t think we ever got beyond pencils in my school. Strangely, I cannot remember writing with a pen! I do remember the hole in the desk top where the ink well used to be, however!! Strange, now you have me wondering the first time I wrote with a pen, and what sort of pen was it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “hiding stains and individuality:
    normality in navy blue.”

    I really love those lines, a world of stories can be bled out of the imagery. I remember how hard we worked in making our uniforms look unique. In the end, we’ll always still in uniform (just adorned) and sometimes in the principle’s office.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Magaly. Most of the girls at my school got into trouble for rolling the tops of their skirts to make them shorter. My skirt was so long, if I’d rolled it I would have looked pregnant!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Did you know that the ancients quite possible did not see blue? Nor did the Romans and other cultures as they had no word for it. I never had a school uniform as I went to Quaker school. I always wanted one though. I like the blue, darker than night. Wonderful poem Kim!

    Liked by 1 person

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