What is Orange?

So, all of the poetry by people other than myself so far has been pulled from a Random House book of 500 poems for children that I had for a college class. Some of the poems inside the book were incredibly good, so I copied them into a binder. Then, since I was insane enough to copy down over 100 poems by hand into a binder, I got the idea for this crazy year of poetry.

I mention this because that list is running a bit low, I’ve got a lot of holiday ones saved up but that’s getting to be about it, and also this book had two incredible poems that I knew had to have more to them. They were by Mary O’Neill and called “What is Orange?” and “What is Red?” Well, instead of just doing these two, I decided to see if I could find the other poems, and figure out where these came from.

Turns out there is a book called Hailstones and Halibut Bones written by Mary O’Neill which features these poems. I don’t know what percentage of them I managed to gather, or if they are all complete and not cut off at a random line, but I figured I’d post these color poems for the next few days. Starting with the one I first encountered.

What is Orange? By Mary O’Neill

Orange is a tiger lily,
A carrot,
A feather from
a parrot,
A flame,
The wildest color
You can name.
Orange is a happy day
saying good-by
In a sunset that
shocks the sky.
Orange is brave
Orange is bold
It’s bittersweet
and marigold.
Orange is zip
Orange is dash
The brightest stripe
In a Roman sash.
Orange is an Orange
also a mango
Orange is music
of the Tango.
Orange is the fur
of the fiery fox,
The brightest crayon
in the box.
And in the fall
when the leaves are turning
Orange is the smell
of a bonfire burning…

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What is Orange?

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