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Colors

Symbol Analysis

"Meeting at Night" is full of vivid, colorful imagery; in the first three lines alone the speaker mentions three different colors (grey, black, yellow). Later, there are references that clearly suggest other colors ("fiery" and "warm" come to mind). The presence of colors emphasizes that things are being viewed through the mind of a unique person, the speaker of the poem.

  • Line 1: The speaker tells us that the sea is "grey" and that the land is "black." The land could be really black, but it seems more likely that it appears black because it's nighttime, a clever way of suggesting the time of day without directly telling us.
  • Line 2: The speaker mentions the "yellow half-moon." The moon does, on some occasions, really appear to be yellow! Take a look at this picture.
  • Line 4: The "fiery ringlets" make us imagine various shades of red, yellow, and orange.
  • Line 7: The "warm sea-scented beach" probably makes most of us think of colors like red, rose, and others, especially considering previous words in the poem like "fiery" and "yellow."
  • Line 10: The speaker describes the "blue spurt of a lighted match." Sometimes matches appear blue at the moment they're struck.

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