Today I think only with scents

14 October 2008

I visited Kew Gardens recently and walked through the Secluded Garden. It has extracts from poems about touch, scent, hearing and sight to illustrate how gardening affects the senses. It is a beautiful place, you should visit it.

I love this one by Edward Thomas. He evokes the images just by writing about the scents!

Digging

To-day I think
Only with scents, – scents dead leaves yield,
And bracken, and wild carrot’s seed,
And the square mustard field;

Odours that rise
When the spade wounds the root of tree,
Rose, currant, raspberry, or goutweed,
Rhubarb or celery;

The smoke’s smell, too,
Flowing from where a bonfire burns
The dead, the waste, the dangerous,
And all to sweetness turns.

It is enough
To smell, to crumble the dark earth,
While the robin sings over again
Sad songs of Autumn mirth.

Collected Poems by Edward Thomas is published by Faber & Faber, ISBN: 0-571-11368-0

1 comment

  1. Sunday 9 April 2017 the poem Digging will be read at St Mary Magdalen, Adlestrop,Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 0UN at a 3.00pm service to comemmorate the death of Edward Thomas at Arras 1917. Everyone is welcome. See you there.

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