Color Theory Writing Prompts: Poems Inspired by Red and Pink

It’s no surprise that poetry has long been informed and inspired by color. After all, the genre is known for incorporating vivid imagery—from rust-colored leaves to a deep navy sky—and for drawing upon the color-driven symbolism also found in visual art. Our new color theory writing prompt features show how immersing yourself in a shade can lead to colorful and beautiful creative work. First up: A look at writing prompts inspired by red and pink, two of the color wheel’s most romantic hues. 


Red and pink can symbolize heat, passion, and love. What do these emotions and sensations mean to you? How might red and pink occur as physical feelings?


Fitting with these romantic sensations, red and pink often mark the colors of sentimental, sometimes cliché images like candy, hearts, and flowers. How can you turn these images and ideas on their head to find the unconventional? 


Similarly, red and pink are often seen as feminine colors—from pink being the color that baby girls are traditionally dressed in, to both colors standing out as popular lipstick shades. How do these colors shape ideas about femininity and womanhood? 


One of the best approaches for writing a poem is pinpointing the specific. There are many more detailed ways of describing red and pink. Think millennial pink, hot pink, scarlet red, and more. Write about a specific shade and what it means to you, or bring multiple shades into the same poem. For example, you could contrast the gentleness of rose pink with the boldness of magenta. 


Pink and red often enter into popular cultural expressions: “paint the town red,” “tickled pink,” “caught red-handed,” “red hot,” etc. Have fun with these adages—play around with them, try to subvert them, or find multiple meanings within them.  


Let your brain go off on explorative tangents with a classic free-write. When you think of pink and red, what are the first images that come to mind? Run with them—the weirder and more unexpected, the better. 


Come back to the Read Poetry blog for future color theory writing prompts in this series—and take literary exploration from every color in the rainbow.