a walk down Fish Street
her delight in
a stuffy nose
horses and male sweat
today held at bay
© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.
Ha! Before I ever read your poem, I studied the painting (so detailed!) and marveled at the light. Then it occurred to me that if I were walking down that street, it would likely be quite stinky. Then I read your poem! Hooray for a stuffy nose!! (I breathe through my mouth when walking past the fish cases at the grocery store...)
I think this picture is great for the reasons you stated! It draws you in for a closer look. (I Imagine living in the time before deodorant!
I love the painting, ordinary life and history. I have realized of late the photos of the regular places from my childhood either are hard to find or don't exist, places no longer the same, places I only can visit in my mind. Sad. When I visited William Shakespeare's mother's home near Stratford on Avon, they talked about the lack of bathing, fear of water etc. Thus June brides because weddings were held right after the bathing time/season! Honestly I have a sensitive nose and can't imagine living among all of the life scents of that time....fish and sweat and sewage and smoke from wood fires and animals. No wonder roses were a blessing. Maybe "stop and smell the roses" was meant for literal interpretation. Your poem is spot on. I do not know how I would manage. But then I remind myself when we grow up with something, it is what we know and we are used to it, accept it as normal......food for thought, perhaps?Janet F.
I know what you mean about places from your childhood being lost to you. So much changes and so quickly. It's hard to remember what some places I passed everyday on the way to work looked like before the highway exit was rerouted a few years ago. Forget about places from my childhood!
Each part of the painting is marvelous, those buildings-wow! I wondered about the smell, too, think none of us in the 21st century could take it. Love that you knew that when you wrote.
I'm sensitive to smells! And, it's always good to consider the senses when writing.