Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tuesdays are for Poetry.

I picked up this lovely collection at a bookshop on Monroe Street when I visited Sara in Madison last February.

I was looking for a book published by a micro press for the 2017 Read Harder challenge. The shop owner thought this book, published by Tebot Bach, might work.

Robin Chapman is a poet like no other I've encountered. Maybe because she's (also)

a developmental psycholinguist (she retired from "teaching and research in children's language development and disorders" at UW-Madison),

with a strong appreciation for mathematics (she mentions prime and perfect numbers and ancient Greek mathematicians in her poems),

who paints (that's her work on the cover)?

I'm thoroughly enjoying this collection and thought y'all might, too.


Known Unknowns

Garden, I call it, our beautiful volunteers -- faces of phlox,
waving arms of goldenrod, monarda's tight fists --
still here after the hottest, driest two months on record,
all their lower leaves withered, sere, height lowered,
many young ones dead; and now at last the rain,
perfume rising up of soil, leaf, flower -- if gratitude
had a scent, my skin itself would join in calling the bees.
And who is to say that this is not the scent of gratitude?
That exchange that might bring rain back again.

I read those lines early this morning, when the scent of gratitude was that first cup of hot coffee. But then, on the trail at the park, the air crisp and clean after a light rain, I smelled the freshly fallen leaves.

What do you call the scent of gratitude?

11 comments:

  1. Oh, beautiful, Mary! And, thank you for sharing!

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  2. Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem! To answer your question, the brilliant golden color of late autumn has been taking my breath away these past few days. I will be thinking about the "scent of gratitude" all day!

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  3. Thank-you Mary! This morning the scent of gratitude was a new soap - a gift from the weekend and a reminder of how blessed I am with friendship.

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  4. I think my scent of gratitude might be baking bread? I really like this poem, and hope you'll share more from Robin Chapman. She sounds like a fascinating, multi-faceted person!
    P.S. I couldn't wait for more of her poems, so now I'm searching for an affordable copy of her "Images of a Complex World". Her breadth is incredible!

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  5. Oh, that phrase, "the scent of gratitude". Wow. So powerful. I think today for me it was rolling over in bed this morning and snuggling up to Dale and smelling him. It brought me such comfort and now that I've read this post I have a term for it: the scent of gratitude.

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  6. So many beautiful answers and I love the poem and the sentiment. The aromas of a kitchen would be my vote because that's where families come together.

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  7. Walking into a warm, cozy house after being out in a cold drizzle! Coupled of course, with a cuppa hot tea. Lovely poem, photo and idea to capture the scents of gratitude. Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers~

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  8. She has a lovely way with words - love this poem! And off to look for more by her. The scent of gratitude for me today was a pot of brewing coffee. By the way, I have to let you know I absolutely love Taproot! : )

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  9. mmm. Thought provoking! scent of gratitude for me is walking into people's homes and their homey smell. Snuggles with Frodo and his doggy scent. Any wool - sheepier the better!

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  10. The smell of gratitude-wow-that's something to think about.

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Thanks for the feedback!