Le Fée Verte, Absinthé … and Your Wednesday Writing Prompt


A glass of absinthe is as poetical as anything in the world, what difference is there between a glass of absinthé and a sunset.” Oscar Wilde 

Albert Maignan's Green Muse (1895): a poet succumbs to the Green Fairy.
Albert Maignan’s Green Muse (1895): a poet succumbs to the Green Fairy (public domain)

in the wilderness of those green hours
gliding with the faerie muse along café
walls virescent, sighing jonquil wings of
poetry, inventing tales in the sooty red
mystery of elusive beauty, beguiled by an
opalescent brew, tangible for the poet and
the pedestrian, the same shared illusions
breaching the rosy ramparts of heaven

– Jamie Dedes


This poem was originally written in 2011 in response to Victoria Slotto’s Writers’ Fourth Wednesday prompt, which we would host at The BeZine in the years before that site became a zine.  Victoria had written:

As a would-be artist and a former museum docent, I enjoy playing with the elements of art in my writing–both in fiction and poetry. A favorite is to use of color to create mood. In art, abstract expressionists often use color as the primary tool to convey their “story.” There are many interpretations of the meaning or symbolism accorded to each color. I’m offering a few of my own: Yellow is a happy color and can be used to liven up a scene–to make it joyful, while Red signifies anger, passion, love. Think about it: when you’re feeling intense emotions, such as rage and close your eyes, sometimes your visual field appears red. Blue and Green convey calm and  peace Black represents the unknown or fear while Brown is a grounded, earthy color. Violet or Lavender speak of spirituality while White is used to represent truth and innocence.

– Victoria C. Slotto

How does color influence your mood? How do you use color when you dress, decorate your home or choose a car? Do certain colors represent an event, holiday or childhood memory? What colors have symbolic meaning for you, perhaps related to your religion, country or ethnicity? Think for awhile about your own use of and reactions to color. Experiment: write a poem, flash fiction or creative nonfiction piece intentionally using color to set the mood or to foreshadow outcome. Take your time and enjoy yourself.


© 2011, poem, and 2016, prompt text, Jamie Dedes, and Victoria’s text, Victoria C Slotto, All rights reserved; photograph, glass of absinthé by Eric Litton under CC BY-SA license.