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Poems About Smell

Table of Contents

  1. Smelling Contest by William Henry Dawson
  2. Smells by Christopher Morley
  3. XXII. Pennyroyal by Christopher Pearse Cranch
  4. At the Water by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

  1. Smelling Contest

    by William Henry Dawson

    Some day if your nose
    Should "get on a tear,"
    And cease doing business,
    And shut out the air,
    To exclude from its presence
    A strong-smelling pair,
    Would you keep your mouth shut?

    Or, suppose that instead
    Of this rank smelling pair,
    Your nose should find one
    Of them filling the air
    With his loud smelling odor,
    Then would it be fair
    That you keep your mouth shut?

    Now, this loud smelling pair,
    It's but fair that I state,
    Are the rank cigarette
    And his no less strong mate—
    Limberger cheese—
    Both smell to hell's gate:
    Would you keep your mouth shut?

    Now, would you sit still
    And let them impose
    Upon the olfactory
    Nerves of your nose,
    While your poor stomach threatened
    Its contents to disclose?
    Would you keep your mouth shut?

  2. Smells

    by Christopher Morley

    Why is it that the poets tell
    So little of the sense of smell?
    These are the odors I love well:

    The smell of coffee freshly ground;
    Or rich plum pudding, holly crowned;
    Or onions fried and deeply browned.

    The fragrance of a fumy pipe;
    The smell of apples, newly ripe;
    And printers' ink on leaden type.

    Woods by moonlight in September
    Breathe most sweet; and I remember
    Many a smoky camp-fire ember.

    Camphor, turpentine, and tea,
    The balsam of a Christmas tree,
    These are whiffs of gramarye ...
    A ship smells best of all to me!

  3. XXII. Pennyroyal

    by Christopher Pearse Cranch

    Heavy with cares no winnowing hand could sift,
    Wrapt in a sadness never to be told,
    As o'er the fields and through the woods I strolled,
    Following with restless footstep but the drift
    Of the still August morn, so I might shift
    The scenery of my thoughts, and gild their old
    Monotonous fringes with a light less cold,
    I found the aromatic herb, whose swift
    And sweet associations bore me away
    To boyhood, when beneath an oak like this
    I culled the fragrant leaves. Crude childhood's bliss
    Was in the scent; but brighter smiled the day
    For memories no cold shade could overcast —
    Safe 'mid the unblighted treasures of the past.

  4. At the Water

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    I liked to go to the branch today;
    I liked to play with the wiggletails there.
    And five little smells and one big smell
    Were going round in the air.

    One was the water, a little cold smell,
    And one was mud and that was more,
    And one was the smell of cool wet moss,
    And one was some fennel up on the shore.

    And the one big smell came out of the mint,
    And one was something I couldn't tell.
    And the five little ones and the big one
    All went together very well.