Poems of the Week

Ytt Colour

by Julia Griffin

“For the First Time in 200 Years, a New Blue Pigment Is Up for Sale
… Named after its chemical components of yttrium, indium and manganese oxides,
YInMn [pronounced ‘Yin Min’] absorbs red and green wavelengths
while reflecting blue wavelengths to produce a bright blue color.”

Smithsonian Magazine

(After Robert Frost)

Why make so much of pigmentary blue,
Fine ground-up lapis, woadish indigo,
Poisonous cobalt, smalt’s translucent glow,
Turquoise and zaffre (relatively new)?

Earth’s stuffed with proto-blue—the whole shebang
Of yttrium + indium (called YIn)
+ mounds of manganese! Come on, dig in:
YInMn is here, and waiting for MnYAng.