Poetry begins with looking, listening, touching…. As poets, our five senses are at work as we notice the world around us. Sometimes we focus on one of those senses, but we can draw from all five. Writing about what we see is the easiest because we have more words to describe what we see than we have to describe other sensory perceptions. Finding words to describe what we smell can be more of a challenge.
When I wrote Mama’s Wreaths, I faced that challenge. Having made my own evergreen wreaths for many Christmases, I had some experience to draw from. When my friend Joann Moretz talked with me about her childhood memories of her mother’s wreath making, I could smell the evergreen. The sticky sap that stained my hands had a strong scent of its own. I could not keep from playing with the words that became the story. Fragrance is powerful.