Writer’s Workshop: Prose About Purple

When I saw the prompt about writing about "purple," my mind went immediately to a post I wrote almost eight years ago about songs with purple in the title. Of course, after so much time, three of the five songs I had chosen were either blocked because of copyright issues or because the original poster had been forcibly removed for whatever reason. Anyway, "Purple People Eater" was one of the survivors.

Purple is frequently called by its more formal name, violet. It’s one of the colors of the optic spectrum, with a wavelength of between 380 and 450 nanometers. We learned all the way back in junior year physics that the colors of the optic spectrum can be remembered by the mnemonic Roy G. Biv (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). Those are also the colors (except indigo) of Jim Dunlop Tortex guitar picks…

The purple one (lower right) is the heaviest, at 1.14 mm thick. I used the green (0.88 mm) or blue (1.0 mm) when I was playing.

We just started the season of Lent in the Catholic Church, a time when the priests wear purple vestments. They’re also used during Advent and for things like funerals. It’s the color of repentance. On the third Sunday of Advent and the fourth Sunday of Lent, the priest has the option of wearing pink vestments, as a symbol of being happy that Advent or Lent is half over.

I just looked up the definition of "purple prose," and found it defined on this page:

Purple prose is a style of writing characterized by overly flowery language that tends to draw attention to itself, and away from the story being told. Its typical features include excessive adjectives, exaggerated metaphors, multisyllabic words, long sentences, and elaborate descriptions of a character’s inner thoughts and feelings.

I don’t read the kinds of books that engage in purple prose. The books I read are more like manuals.

Refresh my memory: was there a kids’ book called The Purple Crayon? Thanks in advance.

19 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Prose About Purple

  1. I’ve never heard of purple prose and I was an english teacher! I’m surprised Barnie didn’t make an appearance in your list. 😉


    1. I lived in Chicago when “The Color Purple” came out, and since Oprah was kind of a local celebrity, we heard about it. Never saw it, though.

      Do you remember “Purple Passion”? Was it a drink or something else?


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