Hazards of Naming


11997 - Version 2

Hazards of Naming

There was always “Cerulean” waiting in the wings,
like a slice of sky not showing
through the clouds,
but smiling over that patch
of hillside a couple valleys away
whose grass looks always bright
when ours is grey.

Your sister (potentially) proffered “Poohboo,”
which we attributed to pre-
sibling rivalry.

“Yo” would be handy–
no introduction needed
on the street.

But Cerulean was the most serious contender,
which, I now admit,
may have scared you off,
you not wanting to be blue
your whole life, not even that pitch
of sea in sky, that ripple of sky
on water, that unshadowed shade that we imagine to surely wave
over that bit of hill whose shimmer
we bemoan, though we always say
we mean to hike over there someday, you know,
just to see.

Another draft poem for twentieth day April, 2015 National Poetry Month, not sure of the count, for Bjorn Rudberg’s prompt on With Real Toads to write about the meaning of our name.  I just couldn’t do that–sorry Bjorn–so hope this fits the bill–a middle name I thought of giving a son, if I had one, at one point in my life.  (Luckily for him and perhaps even more for me–I have two beloved daughters !)

Cerulean typically describes a small range of blues, rather than one single shade–though they all tend to a sky blue, sea blue; the above photo uses an ad from Winsor & Newton–no copyright infringement intended. 

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16 Comments on “Hazards of Naming”

  1. jinksy Says:

    It IS a lovely colour, but perhaps not quite a la mode for a baby boy’s name. What a relief for your daughters?! LOL

  2. Oh Cerulean would probably have been a name that’s hard to carry.. I like the way you took the prompt… and actually taking it from that point of view is very nice.. 🙂

  3. Sumana Roy Says:

    it would have been a unique name undoubtedly but… 🙂

  4. Well, Scarlet named her daughter Bonnie Blue so maybe…. I like the direction you took. I wanted to name my daughter Maggie but my husband didn’t like it so she is Erin. I guess it was a good thing as she doesn’t like Maggie either.

  5. hedgewitch Says:

    Smiling at the alternatives for cerulean–which is certainly a better name than many I’ve heard, but perhaps a tad embarrassing for a child. He would have absolutely had to grow up to be a poet or artist or musician, though. Lots of fun, Karin.

  6. Sanaa Rizvi Says:

    Cerulean sounds so charming and exotic…! I m sure you would have carried it with grace 😀 Loved your poem!!

  7. Jim Says:

    Now I am going to have to get a true sample of the color.
    Is it being redundant to say some thing is colored Cerulean Sky Blue?

  8. ihatepoetry Says:

    Very interesting and entertaining write. That would have been a seriously unique name!

  9. Yes, a unique name and would hair lip many who tried to pronounce it. Blue, I like that name…all cloudless sky. 🙂

  10. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) Says:

    This poem — or ‘draft’ if you will — is so gorgeous it gives me shivers. (And I love cerulean, both the colour range and the word.)

  11. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    I could never come up with a boy’s name I liked while I was pregnant, and also had two girls but I managed to give my second born a boy’s name (Jaime) which I decided on moments after her birth (she was going to be Lara). It is a hard task and an onerous thing to name a child. Cerulean sounds very nice, but might have been a heavy name to bear.

  12. What a perfect word for a name…I really enjoyed your exploration of it, K…thank you!

  13. M Says:

    wistful, wise, witty – wunnerful wunnerful. K, this is a lovely pen ~

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