Hectic Red

It’s time for my Friday Fun post, in which I offer nothing more than perhaps an opportunity for some amusement.

This is another one of those things that might just be fun for me, but this week’s Friday fun post is a literary trivia question of sorts.

Back in Baltimore, where I grew up, there is a cover band that my older brother really liked called “Hectic Red.” They’re pretty popular and played all over town, and I always found their name interesting. Imagine my surprise when one day, as a college kid, I read a reasonably famous poem and encountered the phrase, ‘hectic red’ in the text.

Now, I’ve never interviewed the band to ask if the poem is the source of their name, but it seems pretty likely, and since I love the poem, I’m all for it. Furthermore, having posted a few weeks ago about the power of the ‘surprising word,’ I offer this word choice as another great example. The phrase actually comes from the following line, which is being used to describe autumn leaves:

“Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red.”

So here’s the trivia question. What famous poem is this from? Do you know? I’m curious to see if anyone can answer the question – without using google or some other search engine to look it up. So, if you know, or have a guess, post it in the comments.

Saturday Update: OK, so no guesses yet. Perhaps a hint is in order: the poem this quote is from is by one of the well known, English Romantic poets…

Sunday Update: OK, time for a bigger hint: the author of this poem had a monstrously clever wife, and his most famous poem opens with the line, ‘I met a traveller from an antique land, who said…”

One thought on “Hectic Red

  • Oh … it’s obviously Terry Gilliam :)

    I met a traveller in an antique land
    Who said ‘Six vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert
    And on the pedestal these words appear
    My name is Ozymandias, King of Ants

    Look on my feelers, termites, and despair
    I am the biggest ant you’ll ever see
    The ants of old weren’t half as bold and big
    And fierce as me’.

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