Color Is Everything

Color—it’s one of the most powerful images used in poetry and literature—for it can signify a taste, a smell, a certain mood, etc. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s classic story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” is one example of the important work color can do. Gilman’s description of the yellow of the yellow wallpaper means everything to the story. Ms. Pappert’s second grade poets at Highland Park Elementary are experts at demonstrating the wondrous, surprising work colors can do.  In their poems are hot colors and yellow airplanes, and there is purple quiet. But their poems do more too; to keep the colors company, there are “nomadic” cereal bowls and honey stars. What strikes us most about the poems is the balance of how things are defined (through color, through specific detail) but also how things can be defined by what they are not.  We could try to explain more about what we mean, but we think you’ll see it perfectly as you peruse these lively poems.  


Hot Colors

This is a red leaf
on a big sun
over a hot ground.
This is a bowl
on a leaf
over an orange table.

But it is not a half sun.


The Shape

This is a swimming pool
floating in the sky
over some grass.
Or this is a building
floating in space
over a garden.

But it is not a green star.


The Honey Star

This is a hexagon shape
in space very dark
over delicious grape juice
This is a hexagon shape
in a blue star
over purple lightning.

But it is not purple paper.

Logan D.

The Red Watermelon

This is a watermelon
on a blue smooth table
over a purple quiet beach
Or this is a purple strawberry
on a blue smooth ocean
over purple shirts.
But it is not cupid.


The Watermelon

This is a red watermelon
on a blue napkin

over green grass.
But it is not a book.


The Pizza at Dinner

This is a pizza
on an orange tablecloth
over a poster.
But it is not the moon.



This is a red trapezoid
in the yellow sky
over orange cuts of apple
This is a red trapezoid
in the orange jello
over a sunshine yellow table
But it is not a red circle.


The Red Triangle

This is a red triangle
on a blue background
over a purple napkin.
This is a little dark red triangle
on an aqua blue background
over a violet purple napkin
But it is not a dark red triangle
on a light blue background
over a light purple napkin.

Sami D.

Water Saucer

This is a flying saucer
in a blue galaxy
flying over a green planet
or a yellow fish in blue water
over a green planet
But it is not a star.


The Purple Ground

This is a watermelon
in the sky
over a pencil sharpener
This is an eraser
on the ground
over a piece of paper
But it is not a pencil


Yellow Airplane

This is an airplane
in the air
over the grass
This is a light
in the night sky
over the big green slimy pond
But it is not a raindrop.


The Yellow Sunset

This is a setting sun
in a yellow sky
over an ocean
or a flare in the sky.
But it is not a UFO


Is It a Diamond?

This is a red diamond
on a blue background
over a purple bottom
or it is a red jewel on top
of a blue table over a
purple rainbow
But it is not a watermelon.


Purple Mystery

This is a purple orange
on a red table
over water

this is a purple apple
in lava
over blueberries
But it is not a devil


But It Is Not …

This is a nomadic cereal bowl
on a sun
over a soft pad of grass
This is a half snowball
on a piece of wallpaper
over a green carpet

But it is not half moon!



This is a pyramid shape
on an orange background
over a lemonade bottom
or it is a roof top
or it is half a book
but it is not a finger sandwich

Sami G.

Raindrop Raindrop

This is a blue raindrop
on a cloud
over an ocean
or land
or underground
but it is not a book.


Red Triangle

This is a triangle shape
on a dark night
It is a blue. Why?
Because it is a dark night.
In the bottom it is purple
for underground
but it is not a diamond and it is not a square.


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