Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Smells of the City

It occurred to me as I walked toward the lake yesterday that the sense of smell needs to enter into my poems more.  Here in the city, in the near-summer: lilacs, honey locust, newly cut lawns. (An entire thesis might be created on the evocations of a newly-mown lawn in June--childhood, fatherhood, chores and green stains) Damp maple seeds on the sidewalk, most of them rotting. Puddles with worms and puddles with motor oil. A whiff of sewer, a blast of perfume from a woman a quarter block ahead. And when I reach the lake itself, the smell of fish and iron. Is there a contemporary poet who delves into scent? An ode to odor?

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