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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:
Colors sings of the beautiful burgeoning of burgundy, the sorrow of olive, the story of the green that is green with envy. Colors divulges the silliness of orange, the pomp of purple, the off-whiteness of white--revealing the many subtle personalities of color. Ken Nordine's "word jazz" gives voice to color and Henrik Drescher's irrepressible "image jazz" completes the picture--and lets you in on the many quirks of colors. *Stunning poems by a well-known radio commentator who's featured weekly on dozens of National Public Radio stations * Daring illustrations by an artist whose work appears regularly in the New York Times Magazine, Newsday, and Rolling Stone
Summary: A collection of poems personifying fifteen different colors.
Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly ReviewNPR commentator Nordine eschews "pure" color in this rainbow of idiosyncratic poems, which began as a series of radio ads for paint. Each two-page spread concerns one inexact hue, from a variation on blue ("As sure as there's azure, it's sure to be true/ azure is bored with just being blue") to an account of "the silly old color/ that lives next to red/ the one that is orangely out of its head." Nordine introduces a frustrated chartreuse that wants to "let green or yellow take over," an "old old old old lady" known as lavender, magenta the gossip columnist and a controversial shade called flesh ("flesh, as a color, is about as close to a problem/ as a color can get," he explains, noting the range of shades "varying from complexion to complexion"). Drescher (Runaway Opposites) interprets the free-(color)wheeling verse in multimedia collages. He scribbles outside the lines, even when painting on strictly lined graph paper, and he populates the pages with tentacled monsters and misshapen, childlike drawings of people. The eccentric imagery and unpredictable poetic meter suit the colors' wild diversity; haphazard blends of yellow and blue go to prove that "there's so many different greens inside of green." Nordine and Drescher disdain straight-from-the-tube certainty; casting Roy G. Biv aside, they playfully consider the many shades of gray. This one's for more sophisticated readers, preferably those who have dabbled in colors themselves. All ages. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Author notes provided by SyndeticsKenneth Edward Nordine was born in Cherokee, Iowa on April 13, 1920. After attending the University of Chicago, he got a job working the mimeograph machine at a local radio station. He went on to host radio and television shows including Faces in the Window, in which he recited works by Edgar Allan Poe, Guy de Maupassant, and Honoré de Balzac.
Nordine created a form of storytelling called word jazz, which was stream-of-consciousness poetry accompanied by music. His albums included Word Jazz, Son of Word Jazz, and Colors. His radio show Word Jazz ran on WBBM in Chicago in the 1960s, followed by a run on NPR in the 1970s. He also did voice-overs for television and radio commercials. He died on February 16, 2019 at the age of 98.
(Bowker Author Biography)