Colorless green ideas sleep furiously


Colorless green ideas sleep furiously
(Noam Chomsky, 1957)

Fresh vapor hints
of Clary Sage
lead to unexpected
delirious dreams
rushing me with
inner insights.

Give me words,
and I will find meaning.
Give me YOUR words,
and I will find YOU.

To celebrate the end of marking 150 exam scripts, and noting that a number of my students had quoted Chomsky’s phrase showing that it is possible to create a syntactically correct sentence, even though it lacks semantics, I decided I would find some meaning in it. The result was this short poem based on my experience of naively using to much Clary Sage (a dream herb) in my evening bath, and having hallucinatory dreams where colorless green ideas did sleep furiously!


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