38º ~ bright sun for now, some clouds expected too, a definite lengthening of the days observed both morning and evening, a comfort
Last night I remembered to remind myself that today I should draft a poem. To many people this may seem forced; however, for me it works in the way many athletes use visualization. If I take a moment to see myself at the desk the night before, there's a better chance I'll actually get a draft done the next morning. My record proves it.
Again, this morning, as my mind churned through several items needing attention at school, I had to remind myself that this was writing time. I had to turn off the teacher brain and turn on the poet brain, and, yes, this required attention on my part. It did not happen naturally. So be it.
You might understand, then, that I was sure nothing good would come of my hour at the desk today. Happily, not true! A strange thing happened in the last week. I was invited by the wonderful poet Jehanne Dubrow to participate in an anthology of poems based on perfumes. How cool! The poets who agreed to participate were each sent a tiny sample of a perfume and asked to write a poem in response to that scent. This startled and scared me, but I knew it would be good for me.
My scent arrived sometime in the last week, and I immediately smelled it but didn't do anything with it. Last night, I tossed the letter of explanation and the tiny vial on my desk in case I needed inspiration this morning, which I did. I began, again, by smelling the perfume. Then, I did a little research on the title of the perfume, which is based on an English nursery rhyme. This led me down several Wikipedia roads, including how perfumes are made, all eventually abandoned.
I sniffed the perfume again and suddenly, the scent and my recent topic of obsession, the three sisters, all snapped into focus. I grabbed my journal and drafted out the first half of what became today's poem. I do not know if it will be the poem I send in for the anthology, as I've got a few months before that poem is due, but I do know that I'm grateful to Jehanne for the prompt.
As many news reports tell us, smell is one of our most overlooked senses, and it is often tied to memories. While smelling my sample didn't immediately transport me anywhere or bring up any specific memory, it did shock me out of my normal routine, and it did lead me into a poem. I'm not sure how to translate this prompt into something that would work in the classroom or for myself later on. I suppose one could go to a department store and randomly pick a cologne or perfume and get a sample card to take home and work on. In a classroom, too many scents might muddy the air. Still, it would be fun to give the students a scent and have them write a poem from their own experience or a persona poem based on who might wear this scent and what might happen.
I do know that I'll be looking forward to this anthology and seeing what other writers did with their scents. I do know that I'll chalk today up as a 'win' for getting a draft down on paper.