warrior-girl.jpgI get the feeling you guys like language. Let’s play. We all know those words that just drool, that slide, that ooze and seep. One of my favourite (tho’ gloomy) poems illustrating this comes from Sylvia Plath:

What are these words, these words?
They are plopping like mud.
O god, how shall I ever clean the phone table?

Words heard by accident, over the phone, 1962


The Imp has/experiences/gets synaesthesia: an involuntary neurological phenomenon where your senses overlap and commingle. They dance together. Words, for me, have colours and sometimes smell. They also very definitely have texture. And there are times when just can’t cope with language; it’s too rich; I feel glutted and sick. Then I overdose on music, which I see, or paint, which I feel deeper inside, as movement.

Rimbaud wrote the poem Vowels about his synaesthesia:

Vowels (1871)

A black, E white, I red, U green, O blue: vowels,
I shall tell, one day, of your mysterious origins:
A, black velvety jacket of brilliant flies
which buzz around cruel smells,
Gulfs of shadow; whiteness of vapours and of tents,
lances of proud glaciers, white kings, shivers of cow-parsley;
I, purples, spat blood, smile of beautiful lips
in anger or in the raptures of penitence;
U, waves, divine shudderings of viridian seas,
the peace of pastures dotted with animals, the peace of the furrows
which alchemy prints on broad studious foreheads;
O, sublime Trumpet full of strange piercing sounds,
silences crossed by [Worlds and by Angels]:
-O the Omega! the violet ray of [His] Eyes!

And it’s weird, because that feels so wrong! Quickly, A is yellow (urgh); E is orange; I is light blue, O is purpley-blue; U is green for me.

bakandinsky2.jpgThe artist Kandinsky used the idea (or personal experience; there’s non consensus) to create abstract art – a leader in the field. He once said of painting, “Colour is the keyboard. The eye is the hammer. The soul is the piano with its many strings.” Dead right.