dVerse Poets Pub and NaPoWriMo16

Source: Amenic 181/  StockPhoto

Source: Amenic 181/ StockPhoto

Today, at dVerse Poets Pub, Meeting the Bar, Anna has given us directions to bring out the inner logophile in us, to  think about our diction or word choices as we write our poem; to build a poem around a favorite word or collecting a vocabulary, maybe to write in the style of a poet we particularly admire.  Are we using too many of the same words or phrases?  Try building a poem around a favorite word or collecting our vocabulary before writing your verses. She challenges us to find new expression.

I am a longtime admirer of T.S.Eliot, Emily Dickinson, and Basho.   Their style and use of simple words or a unique word to convey thought is something that deeply impressed me when I first began reading them.  I am using this for dVerse MTB and also as the optional prompt for NaPoWriMo16.

Smell of Rain

Petrichor – odd word.
When a sudden summer shower
Drenches the parched soil,
Or blesses the newly dug soil
Of my garden –
This is that smell.

I do not stand in my garden
Inhaling that marvelous scent
and say in a worshipful whisper:

But I do breathe in that fragrance
Willing it to fill me – entirely.
Absorbing it slowly – savoring, relishing –
Treasuring it and praying that one day
When I am old and away from such smells
I will remember: Petrichor
I will close my eyes and again smell that fragrance
Of rain on dry soil and allow that memory to
Lead me to gentle sleep.

77 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. wolfsrosebud
    Apr 16, 2015 @ 20:38:27

    i liked how you focused on one word and made it sing


  2. SirenaTales
    Apr 16, 2015 @ 20:46:57

    Kanzen. This is rich, aromatic verbal soil, indeed. You evoke so effectively and beautifully that unmistakeable smell and its abundant promise that I can feel it seeping into my soul….revitalizing, refreshing, inspiring hope. Thank you for the poetic tonic, my friend.


  3. Grace
    Apr 16, 2015 @ 21:05:33

    I love this line – I will remember: Petrichor ~

    The rain has that distinct smell on parched soil ~ I love its drumming lead me to a gentle sleep ~ Very effective use of the senses Toni ~


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 16, 2015 @ 23:00:55

      Thank you. We all love so much this green smell. I know one of my favorite things in the summer is when the windows are open and the smell and sound of rain are so clear as I go to sleep.


  4. Bryan Ens
    Apr 16, 2015 @ 21:13:42

    This smells like what I was talking about in my poem too ☺


  5. Linda Kruschke
    Apr 16, 2015 @ 21:48:08

    I love that smell, but I didn’t know that is what it is called. Thanks for the new word. I think I even have a use for it. 😉 Peace, Linda


  6. Glenn Buttkus
    Apr 16, 2015 @ 22:00:28

    Olfactory clues conjure sense memories that transport the reader to it/them; for me, living in the rainy state of WA, it is wet maple leaves, & the smell of wet sidewalks & streets after a dry spell; nice job.


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 16, 2015 @ 22:58:41

      Isn’t it just amazing how different trees have different smells in the rain? I used to live in the of sidewalks but now live in the country. I think of the sheen of wet sidewalks reflected in street lights.


  7. katiemiafrederick
    Apr 16, 2015 @ 22:18:06

    The kindness of renewal of rain.. on dusty souls of flowers.. is a moisture i lean to as well.. to regain the colors of my soul..:)


  8. Suzanne
    Apr 16, 2015 @ 23:08:17

    What a beautiful word to describe such a wonderful scent. Your poem evokes the magic of sudden summer brilliantly.


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 16, 2015 @ 23:10:21

      It does have almost a Byzantine sound to it. I discovered the word in an engineering course I was taking.


      • Suzanne
        Apr 16, 2015 @ 23:14:13

        It’s amazing what you can learn from engineers 🙂


        • kanzensakura
          Apr 17, 2015 @ 11:12:47

          Myself is not included, but some of the most wonderful poems I have read have been written by physicists and mathematicians. Sometimes us old staid engineers will surprise you! 😊


          • Suzanne
            Apr 17, 2015 @ 22:03:07

            Actually I find the way engineers think fascinating. I’m in awe at how so much of our built environment came about because an engineer figured out how to build it.


            • kanzensakura
              Apr 17, 2015 @ 22:05:31

              I shall take that compliment on behalf of us all. Thank you! My husband gave me a tee shirt for Christmas – Engineer: If it isn’t broken, take it apart anyway. I had a good laugh over that.


  9. Desmond, Anthony (@iamEPanthony)
    Apr 17, 2015 @ 00:16:48

    whoa, who knew there was a word for that amazing smell!! Seriously, one of my favorite things to do is go for a walk right after it rains… The grey skies, the scent. the quietness… the atmosphere is just so peaceful.


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 17, 2015 @ 11:09:52

      It is indeed a wondrous time to take a walk. Or to leave the windows open in the summer so one can go to sleep during a rain and be able to smell that smell.


  10. Anna
    Apr 17, 2015 @ 01:16:19

    I first encountered petrichor in a poem so it’s lovely to encounter it again in your poem. I wonder what words will stick with me to the end. Wonderful response to the prompt.


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 17, 2015 @ 11:08:18

      I first encountered this word in an engineering course years ago. And because of the love for the smell, this part of the lesson with the science behind it, really stuck with me through the years. It has been interesting, as always, to read the different takes on the prompt. I’ll be stopping back by again to read the other poems submitted since my last visit last night. So much talent in the pub. It is most satisfactory to discover this word has been used in another poem. It makes me want to do a search to discover others. thank you for the prompt and thank you for letting me know about the other poem.


  11. http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com
    Apr 17, 2015 @ 02:07:09

    Of all the MTB poems I have read this morning,this one smells sweetest. You have fulfilled the prompt in a different way from others, focusing on that one striking word, and I applaud.


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 17, 2015 @ 11:03:21

      Thank you. I was going for the prompt but then, this just jumped out of my heart. I find it awesome that so many people, all over the world relate to this smell and the joy it brings them. And odd word I learned in an engineering course years ago. But obviously, the lesson about the science behind that smell took!


  12. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Apr 17, 2015 @ 04:00:30

    That word brings so much memory to mind.. I think there is so much change embedded in that single word, the way it evoke a feeling…I also like that you included the explanation and let those that are not running through dictionaries appreciate the poetry..


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 17, 2015 @ 14:47:54

      Thank you. it seems to be a universal source of memories and feelings about that smell. That people (and a special dog, Clowie, whose blog I follow) in Sweden, Iowa, the Pyrenees, male, female, canine, all love the smell and relate to it. I learned this word years ago in an engineering class. It and the science behind the world has always astounded me. I wrote the poem for the prompt, but it ended up being for me and also for others. I wanted those people to enjoy it and to remember the smell without having to stop in the reading process and look up the word. I think that is important in our reading and understanding and pleasure of poetry.


  13. Clowie
    Apr 17, 2015 @ 08:25:20

    I love the smell when it rains after a dry spell!


  14. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Apr 17, 2015 @ 08:36:36

    Even had I lost my sense of smell for many years, this poem would evoke the memory of Petrichor.
    Absolutely magnificent poem, Kanzen. ❤ ❤


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 17, 2015 @ 10:58:28

      Thank you. It’s one of those heart things that wrote itself.


      • Let's CUT the Crap!
        Apr 17, 2015 @ 20:37:27

        This IS awesome.
        I have two sisters who have lost their sense of smell. The one who has been without it the longest sometimes mentions things she can ‘almost’ smell. I remembered this when I read your poem today. I cannot fathom it but I hope some memories never die. ❤


        • kanzensakura
          Apr 17, 2015 @ 21:22:35

          Me too. if I have to be someplace institutional when I die, I hope I smell instead the smell of rain rather than the institution smells.


        • kanzensakura
          Apr 17, 2015 @ 21:33:38

          Oh yes. Many times smell going away has to do with, besides aging, physical conditions – mineral deficiencies. Zinc is supposed to help – taken according to directions on the bottle and not just crammed in because if a little is good, more must be better – that frame of thought. Generic, regular zinc….I know someone who did take it. It took awhile, but it did help. Of course, report any side effects, allergic reactions, blah blah blah to the MD.


          • Let's CUT the Crap!
            Apr 18, 2015 @ 08:58:11

            The one sister lost hers many years ago and has had all kinds of tests. I do believe she has been using zinc (I don’t know how) and says sometimes she thinks she can almost smell some things. She’s not sure if it’s the memory of the smell or if she is having a read experience. I can’t imagine her life.


            • kanzensakura
              Apr 18, 2015 @ 09:09:45

              I had a friend who lost his sense of smell. He said it was horrible


              • Let's CUT the Crap!
                Apr 18, 2015 @ 09:41:21

                I can’t imagine it. Even my sisters can’t explain it. I asked the older of the two if she made sure she took the garbage out regularly. In the days when she wore perfume, I asked her how she knew if she hadn’t overdone it.
                The smell of food is a joy as well. Things on the stove in the oven. Being outside, at the beach, in the fall, anytime. So much to miss.


  15. lynn__
    Apr 17, 2015 @ 10:19:27

    It certainly is an odd word for such a beautiful scent…thanks for clarifying with your fragrant words! Makes me anticipate another good rain on our rich Iowa soil…not least, for the smell 🙂


  16. The Course of Our Seasons
    Apr 17, 2015 @ 12:15:17

    We having been experiencing many days of rain – just love that smell! and it is such an odd word Petrichor!


  17. Kathy Reed
    Apr 17, 2015 @ 13:40:39

    Definitely, a lovely nostalgic fragrance which recalls in me certain places, times, events,, including baseball season and picnics and horseback riding…love the word and your response to the prompt!


  18. vbholmes
    Apr 17, 2015 @ 14:49:42

    Petrichor is not the easiest word to work into a sensitive poem and you’ve done it beautifully.


  19. L Weaves Words
    Apr 18, 2015 @ 03:46:12

    Wow. Thank you for the new word! And so beautifully written 🙂
    We don’t have rain in the summer but we do have the first rain by the end of it. It IS a delicious smell. I can’t even imagine not liking it…


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 18, 2015 @ 09:26:55

      It is rare indeed the person who does not like that smell. You must be in Australia! And no, you do not have to give me your location as I know most people very correctly maintain some safety measures. I am so glad you enjoyed the new word and thank you for your kind words.


      • L Weaves Words
        Apr 18, 2015 @ 10:36:53

        Not oz, no. And yes – very security conscious… (as I aught to be), though I thought the Hebrew as a native language will be an obvious give away 🙂


        • kanzensakura
          Apr 18, 2015 @ 11:12:24

          Duh…that didn’t even register when you spoke of the rainy season. I have so many folk from Oz. Now I know. And yes, I think being careful is a good thing, a safe thing. I now visualize your website…


  20. Sabio Lantz
    Apr 18, 2015 @ 08:29:48

    I never knew the word, but have spoken of the smell often — imbibing in pleasure even more frequently. Your poem drove me to the wiki article to read on it — the science there was fascinating.

    Really enjoyed the poem.

    BTW, on a side note: I am a blogger and love when people interact with my blog and long thread of dialogue develope (though I am not nurturing blogging much these days). And when I first came to poetry blogs I looked for that. But it is not there. People on poetry blogs rarely follow their comments. So any reply you make to a comment is rarely heard. So for that reason I don’t respond to comments unless the writer asks me a question. It is a bit lonely on poetry blogs because of that, but most folks aren’t there for the dialogue — but to quickly read a poem and have theirs read. I’ve come to accept that limitations because I do enjoy writing and now don’t mind the minimal cordiality.

    I do wish people were more critical and questioning on these blogs but that is not the culture either.

    Just wanted to let you know why I would never respond to a response to my comment — because I don’t follow comments by e-mail either.

    One way around this, that I see people do, is to go over to their poem and let them know what you think. A bit odd, but it is the way some poetry bloggers do it.

    Have a great weekend. (oh, because I was verbose here, I will follow for a while)


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 18, 2015 @ 09:22:13

      I have found many people do not respond to responses to comments. Because it is public, many people do not engage because of being hesistant to say things that may be personal. When I first began blogging, a long time blogger took me under his wings to give me what was then considered courteous behavior. One of the things was to always respond to a comment if complimentary with a thank you or other response. if the response is argumentative, then to decide whether it is worth engaging in an argument in a public format. If asked a question, to answer it. Many people do not do that. I have learned to accept that. If people wish to converse, it seems many of them do emails back and forth. I follow several hundred blogs and do not always have time to comment on them as I also write and have other things to occupy my time. many times, people are busy. I do have a few people I have come to know over the years and with them I do have conversations. If you look back over any poems I submitted to dVerse, you will see I always respond to a comment. I am sorry you have not gotten the back and forth you desired. Maybe this would be something for one of the opinion sessions at the Pub.


      • Sabio Lantz
        Apr 18, 2015 @ 09:24:56

        Yeah, I don’t think people who write poetry are generally up for back and forth — or at least the type I enjoy. And that is fine. Seems it is more about warm fuzzy feelings.


        • kanzensakura
          Apr 18, 2015 @ 09:59:25

          And warm fuzzy is also a kind of courtesy. If someone writes a poem I do not enjoy or think is bad, it is just my personal opinion and writing such negative things seems unkind and unnecessary. I prefer to comment on the form or a line that touches me in that case. Voice tones cannot be heard on typed communication so one cannot hear the tone or see the facial expressions of the person commenting. It is better, I think to be kind and positive – warm fuzzy as you say, because kindness cannot be misinterpreted. And I have found, many of us poetry folk often feel “outside” the realm of non-poetry people, to feel alienated at times. I don’t want to further that feeling. I myself often feel that way.


  21. Sabio Lantz
    Apr 18, 2015 @ 08:32:28

    BTW, on a funny linguistic note:
    I hate the English word lead — as used in your last line:
    “Lead me to gentle sleep.”
    Both it and “led” can be read the same with different meaning and yet same verb etc.
    Confuses me just like lie and lay.
    English can be a royal pain. 😉


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 18, 2015 @ 09:14:12

      You just have to look at the context. Obviously, it would not be the element but a verb. Also, there, their, they’re. But then again, most Americans use them incorrectly as they do your and you’re. Though I must say, Japanese is truly the difficult language.


      • Sabio Lantz
        Apr 18, 2015 @ 09:20:56

        Oh yeah, I got it from the context, but I had to pause and think — weakness of my mind. Funny though. The word choice was good, I was just making a linguistic observation.

        ”日本語は難しい”と良くいわれってるけど僕はそう思わない! :〜)


  22. MarinaSofia
    Apr 18, 2015 @ 15:29:33

    Petrichor – that is most certainly a new word to me, but I can certainly understand how it was constructed – and there I was, thinking that there is no word for describing that wonderful smell of rain on earth after a dry spell. But the best damp smell is the smell of paddy fields – that is one of my favourite smells in the world. Sadly, not much felt over here in Europe…


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 18, 2015 @ 16:27:06

      I’m not sure if it is the same smell because of the difference in location, but rice is grown in the US – in paddy fields. In Louisiana, where I lived for a brief time and still visit, there is a lot of above ground shallow water and is perfect for rice and crayfish farming. I know the smell of the fields in the autumn right before rice is harvested. In the winter, the fields are used for wild bird conservation, for the water birds to use as a resting place before migrating back up north in the spring and also, for year round waterfowl. I am acquainted with the smell of paddy fields in Japan. It is a rich smell and is not a brief smell in the manner of petrichor. Happily, I can smell the paddy fields when I visit.


  23. mishunderstood
    Apr 18, 2015 @ 15:54:58

    To think there was a word to describe that lovely smell. I think the word “petrichor” will forever remind me of your poem. Very nice. 🙂


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