I had a hunch there was more meaning in that use of purple than
youthfulness. You answered my question and then some!
Sent from my iPod
On Apr 23, 2010, at 2:47 PM, Terry Traynor <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >"purple" seems like an odd color for a youthful blush. It would
> >be more fitting as a description of rage, drunkenness or high
> >blood pressure. Why not "rosy"?
> On one hand, "rosy" is indeed the appropriate word for "a youthful
> blush," as in:
> Love's not Time's Fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
> Within his bending cycle's compass come
> -- Shakespeare, "Let me not to the marriage of true minds..."
> On the other hand, if the blood is supposed to signify something
> morally questionable, then the literary convention is to identify
> the color of the blood as "purple," as in:
> The purple testament of bleeding war.
> -- Shakespeare, _Richard II_, act 3, scene 3
> Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
> Purpled thy nail, in blood of innocence?
> -- John Donne, "The Flea"
> The decision to be made by someone translating Ovid's "ruborem" is
> whether to stress the surface of Narcissus's beauty, which is rosy,
> or the moral taint behind it, which is purple. If Tom is right about
> Eliot alluding to Ovid, then "carbuncular" is Eliot's purple version
> of "ruborem."