Pink, or: Blue

A Nonet

In the 19th century, girls were
assigned blue, a 'dainty' color;
pink was 'stronger', so it was
assigned to boys. Today's
different but
no less ar-
bi- trar-


A nonet has nine lines. The first line has nine syllables, the second line eight syllables, the third line seven syllables, etcโ€ฆ until line nine finishes with one syllable. It can be on any subject and rhyming is optional.


The above was written for Colleen M. Chesebro’s ‘Tanka Tuesday’ prompt: Poets are to choose their own forms and colors to feature in their syllabic poems.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

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56 thoughts on “Pink, or: Blue”

  1. Beautiful nonet. Must try once. I always gave blue shirts for boys and pink Barbie dresses for girls. For christening we decorated blue and white balloons for boys and pink and white for girls.

  2. Pink or blue! I didn’t know in the 19ths it was the opposite. Blue is always for boys and pink for girls, until recently. Now everything is changing again, it seems no more barriers…., well, not much we can do. Beautiful nonet, I love the simplicity of it and at the same time says a lot, make us think.

  3. Love the topic and the playful way with the words… You are braver than I with the use of breaking words into syllables (and effective to boot)!

  4. pink or blue loved them all the same but I always gave the boys pink and the girls blue to try my best raising them non sexist.. nice poem David! ๐Ÿ’–

      1. I love what you did there with bi – trar- y.


        I suffer, thus from the past, blue for boys and pink for girls
        Hydrangeas always lifts her index finger with alas, not so.

        Perfect nonet,
        Colour theme
        And topic

        Pink and Blue for boys and girls.

        1. the baby blankets at the hospital where our daughter was born are blue on one side, pink on the other… I deliberately wrapped her in blue, and when somebody passing by congratulated us on the birth of our son and I explained that she was a girl, the woman seemed very nonplussed…

          1. Yeah, the debate gained momentum aftermine.
            We color-coded them accordingly ๐Ÿ˜Œ
            And observed the growing trend.
            It’s all acceptable these days.
            Many moons back it caused feisty debates, like other issues pertaining to gender these days.
            The older folk learn from the young.

  5. I love your technique of chopping words into syllables in order to fit the format’s requirements. It’s both brilliant and humorous. I’ll never think of the word “arbitrary” in the same way again! This is a fun poem. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Veera, truth be told, I always feel out of my element when I’m writing syllabic poetry… that’s why Colleen’s prompts are so good for me!


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