Emily Browning

i thank You God for most this amazing

day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees

and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything

which is natural which is infinite which is yes

― e.e. cummings, “i thank You God for most this amazing”

Cummings uses colours in ways that are unexpected, important, and complete in themselves. Likewise, “Yellow” contains the pieces of Tinge that utilize colours in vibrant and exciting ways; the pieces that are saturated in colours. This chapter is punctuated with colour, childhood, emotion, and imagination. The colours and their vibrancy, or their subtlety, adds depth to these pieces to the point that the pieces would lack an integral part were the colours missing.

Age, specifically youth or childhood, is a common denominator in the pieces of this chapter. Lévesque’s “Where I’m From” has only one explicit colour, “red bricks,” but colours manifest in the images surrounding childhood such as the green of the trees the speaker climbs. In contrast, Wiebe’s “The Ritalin Playground” has many explicitly stated colours, and each occurrence adds an important tint of life as best seen through a child’s eyes. McGuirk’s “Active Learning and Creativity Belong in the Primary Classroom” explores the importance of creativity and imagination for childhood learning as they are essential tools for engagement and success. These pieces explore how colour exists in youth as a surrounding and vital force.

Strong emotion is also a prominent thread in many of these pieces. The way that colour presents itself, in its intensity or prominence, indicates the necessity of colour when expressing emotion. Colour is used to highlight anger and resentment in “Lullabies.” “Hospital Food,” uses both explicit and implicit colour imagery to intensify bittersweet feelings, grief, and irony. Colours are used not only to emphasize and complicate emotions but also to untangle emotion.

The pieces in this chapter are held together by present and necessary colour. Colour is not just a descriptor but becomes a character in and of itself. Colour shapes our surroundings to the point of becoming an indispensable way of understanding our environment and ourselves. “Yellow” asks us to see colour for everything that it is.


Emily Browning


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