Philippa Lane

Rookie (March 7th,1941 / Chichester, West Sussex, England)

Purple - Poem by Philippa Lane

Purple is afraid
it scuttles into corners
on all fours
it reeks
it shrieks
and smells of old unopened rooms

it is the flickering eyelid
of an aging actress
and the veins
mapped on leaves
of frail plants
in nursing homes who suck thin air

Purple is chiffon dusk
compline and pale prayers

it is reading aloud
the twenty-third psalm
the noise of ragged breaths
clawing the air
a scratching away of calm

Purple is the gas
that killed Plath
and the depth
of her despair

it is the click of the valves
that stuck and the blood that cooled

Purple is profane

it never gives back
it hoards
it preserves grief
and bottles tears

Purple is half the world
and the side of me in shadow

Comments about Purple by Philippa Lane

  • (1/19/2015 4:14:00 AM)

    Well, I'll never look a purple the same way again. Never. Splendid poem, whisks me away, persuades me as I resist. This ain't what purple means to me, but while I read your poem I entertain no doubts. I may have to write a response to this one: Purple is plush, / it's velvet crushed / it dances away at dusk / it insists on itself / and envelops one in the semblance / of macroeconomic sensuality. / Purple is plush. (Report)Reply

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  • (1/19/2015 2:30:00 AM)

    Yes, it is a funereal color so vividly and well expressed in this poem along with other strange things that make purple, in my view a color to avoid, even in a rose. (Report)Reply

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  • (6/4/2006 12:33:00 PM)

    The way you have painted this read with such descriptive wording is of true talent!

    Patricia Gale

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  • (3/30/2005 10:17:00 AM)


    Not your favourite colour then? I like the way you have chosen the words that sound well together. It grows and flows but certainly ain't prose.

    Thanks again for helping me sister
    Warm regards

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  • (3/1/2005 9:26:00 AM)

    this poem is a bit of genious (Report)Reply

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  • (3/1/2005 7:42:00 AM)

    Perhaps I am too biased as Phillipa's daughter, but I love this poem. As a young teenager, it had such an impact on me that I began composing my own poems (none of which were ever as good as my mother's but luckily that wasn't the point) . (Report)Reply

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  • (2/27/2005 7:31:00 AM)

    Correct spelling errors please.
    Poem is great.

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Read poems about / on: purple, despair, grief, world

Poem Submitted: Thursday, November 18, 2004

Poem Edited: Thursday, December 29, 2011

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