Primary colors

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We all know the painter Pablo Picasso. Let's take a moment, to introduce the poet Pablo Picasso. As of 1935, he decided to start writing. His notes turned into poems. Poems that were often criticized. This is his poem "Primary colors."

Pablo Picasso as a … poet!

We all know the painter Pablo Picasso. Let’s take a moment, to introduce the poet Pablo Picasso. As of 1935, he decided to start writing. His notes turned into poems. Poems that were often criticized. This is his poem Primary colors.

How do we introduce the poet Pablo Picasso? Is it even possible, to see him as a poet, instead of an artist? This Spanish artist is mostly known for his paintings. This multi-talented Picasso left us some beautiful poetry.

Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso in 1953.
Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Photo taken by Paolo Monti.

Picasso as a poet

Does he need an introduction? Not really. We assume that everyone heard of this painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer and playwright. He was also a gifted poet. The poet Picasso is someone who left us many poems. Some of them are abstract ones, others are based on surrealism.

“Between” all poets in history, Picasso is overlooked many times. The fact that he did not publish his poems until he was 53 years old, might be the cause that he is overlooked. Still, at the age of 53 Picasso reached world fame.

His poetic roots date back to 1935 when he decided he wanted to write poetry and he did. His break-up with his wife, Olga Khokhlova, was probably the reason for him to start writing. He felt alone in Paris – where he lived – and penned down his thoughts as simple notes. He wasn’t that proud of what he wrote at that time because he hid these notes from others.

The poems Picasso wrote, were inspired by his views on punctuation. He had to endure some strong criticism about the way he wrote poetry.

What is your opinion about this poem of Pablo Picasso (primary colors)?

primary colors


primary colors

navigator’s balcony cocktail hour
rocket orbit ocean liner rising
clenched no teeth no guernica no bam bam bam
correspondent notary republic
address book dial figure 8
charred with a thousand jigsaw pieces
false as a beach chiaroscuro black
on black graveyard womb naked milk glass lit
footprint tourism by candlelight and flare
vaccination fatigue puke fingernail fish
moving a bandaged echo kill him kill her
familiar bell music kill them both kill them all
stretched shirtsleeves spanish toffee slashed tires
(failure as a painter he shaved his wife’s fur coat)
bust your balls Barcelona red alert
knock-kneed broken squeezebox no hands
standing room only ladies first (please)
unbuttoned interrogation coffee rolls (stop)
marine’s vegetation (stop) early morning tea (stop)
armless menus (stop) pink cathedral fingers (stop)

and (begin again) move

we move

moving inside an eye this eye
that advances step
by step

— Pablo Picasso


There are many poems written by those, who gained fame with anything but poetry. When it comes to the poetry of Pablo Picasso, this is a beautiful surprise.

primary colors
Article Name
primary colors
It's time to meet... Pablo Picasso... as a poet!
Publisher Name
The Ministry of Poetic Affairs

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