It wasn't in a book. One of the girls in Grade Three, Suzanna Arrowsmith, performed Vespers by A. A. Milne in front of the class, but I thought it was over the top. Sanctimonious little critic I was. Suzanne wanted to be an actress. She had the looks.
The poetry was in a box; the names of the colours, each numbered, in a box of Derwent pencils. The 24-pencil set was a coloured landscape that spoke of dark valleys and lake-laced plains of vivid greens, and seas that swirled grey and blue.
Emerald Green was the land of our forefathers; Raw Umber was the earth beneath; Blue Grey was the sky above and Rose Pink was the blush in Colleen’s cheeks. Ivory Black (just one of Derwent's blacks) was the frozen road or your father’s drink; Madder Carmine was a red flash somewhere between those two notorious actresses, Scarlet and Crimson Lake.
Juniper Green was the colour of a sage leaf that flavoured mother’s stew. Jade Green, French Grey and Naples Yellow were the overseas holidays you had in the 1950s.
Venetian Red was a red-tinged shade of brown; Chinese White was always the longest pencil in the box, until I was given an exercise book made of black art paper. My favourite name was Ultramarine, a stormy sea of backlit deep blue. I travelled the world and had a thousand adventures with one box of Derwent coloured pencils.
My sister had the 72-pencil fold-out box set. She became a poet.