What is Orange?

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What is Orange?

Orange is a tiger lily,


A carrot, 


A feather from 


A parrot, 


A flame, 


The wildest color you can name. 


Saying good-bye 


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 the 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.

 by: Mary O’Neil, from Hailstones and Halibut Bones

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8 thoughts on “What is Orange?

  1. Robin Post author

    Mom, when I saw that orange of the dragonfly and of my beautiful little native plant, I went searching for the book to see what she wrote about the color orange. It’s such a favorite old book.

    Nancy, I’d never seen one, either. I was so excited when I saw it on our car antenna, and I was thrilled that it stayed put while I took its photo.

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  2. Tamara

    Fantastic poem – thanks for sharing it. Gorgeous dragonfly too! I love the orange of the sunset that shocks the sky… one of most favourite things.

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  3. Robin Post author

    Les, you’re right! It’s a “red columbine,” although my petals look very orange.

    Thanks, Jessica! Me, too.

    Thanks, Tamara. It’s a lovely little book of poems, from way back when. And I love orange sunsets, too.

    Pamela, yes, I agree! — orange is the music of the tango…

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