Endnotes on Pale Fire


  1. Azure adj.    blue, bright, cloudless; (of love) cloudless: The false azure

of cloudless love. And when a noun – heaven, palate, the roof of one’s mouth.

Azure as in: The bright, bottomless vowels that once echoed against the

roof of your mouth. Or: Unstuck from your palate, here I am –

trying to speak your language.



  1. Rainbow adj.   multicolored; polychrome: The rainbow underwings

of the butterflies that tapped on the windowsill.    noun   a conspiracy

of water and light.



  1. Iridule noun, presumed   the brilliant shadow of a rainbow projected

against cloudy skies; shadow made color; shadow made light; a word for which

there is no translation. It is hard to say just what you mean.



  1. Opal once noun, now adj.    variegated; iridescent; nacreous; kaleidoscopic:

“The opal cloudlet.” The sky streaked with opal – puddles of blue and light.

now a noun once more    a gemstone demonstrating varied and semitransparent

hues, especially when pressed against a dark surface; (in Russia) thought to be

the eye of evil: The cloudlet that watches. Overhead voyeur, kaleidoscopic, many eyed.



  1. Claret   adj.   a red so deep it is almost purple: Your claret O’s stretched across

the breakfast table, your vowels crisp like plums. (See blood-black).



  1. Blood-Black adj.   connotes the color of deoxygenated blood, blood without

breath; the color of blood that comes out like paste: Yesterday, in tending

to the last of the rosebushes, I pricked my finger and stained the leaves blood-

black. Or: Now that you have gone, I cannot breathe. The nights are blood-black.

Or: I feel this translation has become blood-black, opaque.



  1. Pale  adj.   of little color; of weakened color; of no color; of feeble

and unimpressive color; feeble and unimpressive. To pale    verb   to seem

unimpressive; to become colorless.




Sofia Montrone is a sophomore in Columbia College studying Creative Writing. She thinks that arguing with strangers about Lolita is a great way to make friends.

Leave a Reply