Sir Isaac Newton’s ROYGBIV

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June 20, 2021 by The Citron Review

by Sierra Nelson


In the sluice and slurry of a rainbow,

blurry colors red to violet don’t neatly divide.

So Sir Isaac Newton decides to make them seven,

(seven rhymes with heaven, gives off cosmic vibes),

even though indigo’s a bit of a squeeze between them.

When you left, light split, time splayed through a prism,

and I observed coldly — but later chose what color to believe in.


Sierra Nelson’s books include The Lachrymose Report (Poetry NW Editions) and I Take Back the Sponge Cake (Rose Metal Press) collaborating with artist Loren Erdrich and selected by Anne Carson for NYU’s Washington Square Review Collaboration Prize. Her poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, Tin House, Pleiades, and at the Slovenian Natural History Museum. She is also president of Seattle’s Cephalopod Appreciation Society and performs as part of the Vis-à-Vis Society. More info at


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