Ted Ochre

Red was your colour.

If not red, then white. But red

Was what you wrapped around you.

Blood-red. Was it blood?

Was it red-ochre, for warming the dead?

Haematite to make immortal

The precious heirloom bones, the family bones.

Extract from the poem ‘Red’ by Ted Hughes (married to Sylvia Plath when she committed suicide in 1963)

Haematite is an iron oxide and the name is derived from a Greek word meaning blood.
Ochre is clay that is coloured by varying amounts of haematite.

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