e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Poems for a perfumed world

Carpe Diem has an interesting article on using all our senses to describe the world and not just sight and sound. How often are we treesconscious of the smell of a scene? Do we reach out and touch something to find out its texture? I love to touch the petals of flowers and their leaves – the variety of texture in the natural world is amazing.

Out of this comes a challenge to write about smell, and I’ve tried to do it justice.

The van, driven past
the wood’s edge, stirs up scents
of damp earth and rich green.

Reading the poems already posted suggests that most people concentrate on the perfume side of this sense, as I’ve done. One day, maybe, I’ll write about the stink of sewage – would that be in the spirit of haiku?


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9 thoughts on “Poems for a perfumed world

  1. Loved how your car stirred up the green scent of the woods!

    But I really do think that you could have a “stinky” haiku, too — it’s not typical, perhaps, but why not? You should go for it.

    Georgia (at Bastet’s Waka Library / Bastet and Sekhmet’s Library) did one about a Roman alley; I briefly considered a haiku about my childhood memory of driving past a tannery that was on the outskirts of town many years ago. No matter how hot it was outside — you made sure the school bus windows were UP when you passed the tannery.

    And — I still live in a fairly rural area — during certain seasons the farmers are spreading manure — makes life pretty unpleasant for a few days. o.O Sometimes nature stinks!

    Anyway — loved your post!


  2. magicalmysticalteacher on said:

    Stirring up scents…earth…green…ahhh…

    A Whiff of Autumn


  3. The smell of damp earth.. such a great reminder. To bring in the sewer would be a great idea.. I would go for a Kerouac haiku or maybe an American Sentence…


    • Thank you for your comment. Also for mentioning American Sentences. I’d not heard of them but have now looked them up and they seem an interesting form to work with, so one day soon I’ll have a go.


  4. jazzbumpa on said:

    haiku is primarily about nature
    but reality is a part of that as well

    so – yes – i think sewage would work
    or old socks . . .



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