December 15, 2017

Poetry Friday--The Round-Up is Here!


Yes, indeed, the Round-Up is here! Welcome and be sure to leave your links below!

I've been drowning in political discussion and sometimes my poems have a political point to make, but, for the Round-Up I promised to keep my poem non-political. One of the suggestions I received last week was to write a poem about women; another was to write about celebrations.

As suggested, I've written a poem of women. I've been reading a novel that has a saint in it. I'm not a believer, but I am fascinated by the stories of saints. I've used a few over the years as subjects (to see them, click here). The Thérèse in this poem is St. Thérèse of Lisieux:


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Text:

The Odor of Sanctity

With little Thérèse's final
consumptive breath a scent
of roses diffused through
her chamber. It was recognized
as the odor of sanctity.

Today we might recognize
the scent as something a crazy
lady who heard serpents
hissing in her ears would purchase
at the dollar store in a can.


It isn't exactly a celebration, is it? If you're looking for me the explain it, you're out of luck. It began as one thing and ended up as something else. As Umberto Eco said, "The author may not interpret. But he must tell why and how he wrote his book." I've told you the why and how of my poem, so the interpretation is up to you.

Ready for more poetry? Check out the links below. (I apologize to the earlier linkers, I had the wrong settings. I fixed it, I believe.)






65 comments:

  1. Hi Diane, I love this. Maybe not a celebration, but so very true. I can't view the InLinkz, or post to it: it doesn't work for us Aussies, so I'm hoping you might add my link and I will try to find as many of the posts as I can. http://sallymurphy.com.au/2017/12/poetry-friday-the-jetty-three-ways/

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    1. I posted for you. Sorry about InLinkz, I'll have to find something else the next time I host.

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  2. Well, I like the surprise at the end. It made me go back to the beginning to read from the top again. Now, I'm thinking of old ladies I've seen at the Dollar Store. Hmmmmmm. What are in those plastic baskets they have hung over their arms?
    This week I am enjoying the fruits of the season. I receive a glorious package of poetry from the winter poem exchange thanks to Jone McCulloch for writing and creating and Tabatha Yeatts for organizing. I was a bit intimidated to join in. But, I"m so glad I did. Receiving that package really put me in the holiday spirit. Thanks!
    https://awordedgewiselindamitchell.blogspot.com/

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    1. I've enjoyed the sharings in past swaps. Maybe, once I retire, I'll participate again.

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  3. Intriguing as always, Diane. The kind of poem that will waft about for a while.... Thanks so much for hosting. (And at least there was some political news worth celebrating this week!)

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    1. Yes, but the good news was more than canceled by the FCC ruling today. :-(

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  4. Hmm, I think I added my link, but I can't see it yet. Here it is in case it didn't work: https://thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com/2017/12/poetry-friday-warm-at-christmas.html

    I'm fascinated with saints too, and I liked the way you played with the "odor of sanctity." I can also relate to a poem coming out differently from what you had in mind when you started!

    Thanks for hosting!

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    1. Yes, Ruth, your link did work. Thanks. I'm definitely going to look for another way to post future Round-Up links.

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  5. I like your poem to St. Thérèse, it has the flavor of a Mary Oliver poem. I'll take a woman St. any day. Thanks for hosting the Roundup Diane!

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    1. Thanks for saying my poem "has the flavor of a Mary Oliver poem." You've made my day!

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  6. Even better than a celebration, your poem makes me think and wonder. I may dream about Terese tonight and her scent of sanctity.

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  7. Hi Diane! I enjoyed learning about St. Thérèse and pondering your second stanza. Thanks for hosting!

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    1. P.S. I like your PF round-up logo image.

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    2. There's so much to learn about St. Thérèse, she wrote an autobiography of sorts in poetry!

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  8. What an intriguing poem -- you certainly have me pondering. Now I'm curious to learn more about St. Therese.

    For my final post of 2017, I'm asking visitors to help me make a list of "Things to Believe In." (My post goes live at 6 a.m. Friday morning.)

    Thanks so much for hosting this week. Happy Holidays!

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    1. So much of what I believed has been tested over the past year, I will have to give some thought to this overnight!

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  9. Thanks for hosting Diane. Apart from appreciating the focus of your saintly poem, I was also intrigued by the motivation that prompted it. Loved the alliterative sound of the scent of sanctity. The influences on a writer are multifarious and you are absolutely right, the words are for others to analyse. As Sally said, we Aussies can't use the link, so here it is mine here. My motivation for writing this piece was a visit to a small, yet famous pizzeria in Brooklyn NY.

    http://alanjwrightpoetrypizzazz.blogspot.com.au/2017/12/poetry-friday-meeting-frank-in-cafe.html

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    1. I've added your link. Thanks for the visit to Grimaldi's.

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  10. So many beliefs have strange origins, you know, Diane. I think you and then Jama's comment just challenged us to examine our own origins of what we believe, at least those that are so close to our hearts. Perspective is everything. I love your poem. And thank you for hosting; the 'round-up' image is super fun.

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    1. It is always good to revisit and/or challenge old beliefs.

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  11. I love the leap into the modern that this poem takes, Diane. The saint of centuries ago doesn't quite fit into our times.

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    1. Much that was accepted as holy may have been mental illness. I think, though, the old ways may have been kinder in the end.

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  12. Diane, your poem reminds me of a time, a number of years ago, when I was talking to a very kind and holy yet down-to-earth priest, and I was lamenting my own shortcomings. Comparing myself to some saint, I said, "But the saints would have ...." and he replied, "Oh, Karen, lots of the saints were crazy!" :)

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    1. Karen, you made me laugh! Many thanks!

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  13. Thanks for hosting, Diane. I'm heading off to bed so hope you don't mind that I shared my link a few hours before the post goes live. The excerpt I share in it is from a biographical novel I just read called ENCHANTRESS OF NUMBERS: A NOVEL OF ADA LOVELACE. Although I knew she was Lord Byron's daughter, I didn't expect his poetry to be mentioned as much as it was in the novel.

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    1. I just put the book on hold at the library!

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  14. There's a lot going on in that poem, Diane - very intriguing and thought-provoking. (Thanks for hosting!)

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    1. And thanks for hosting a party at your place!

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  15. Thanks for hosting, Diane. Beautifully presented poem, though the topic is not so rosy.

    I'm with the other Aussies who can't post a link. My short blog is here; https://katswhiskers.wordpress.com/2017/12/15/willie-wagtail-lai.

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    1. I posted your link! Readers--don't miss Kat's baby bird poem!

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  16. Thanks for hosting, Diane. Re your poem - Stanza 1 is the blossom, St. 2 is the thorn.

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    1. One of my favorite quotes:

      Truths and roses have thorns about them. ~ Thoreau

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  17. I love the imagery in this poem, Diane, and I can *smell* the roses as I read. Thank you so much for hosting Poetry Friday this week!!

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    1. The sense of smell is powerful in image-making and memory.

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  18. Thanks for hosting, Diane. You're right about poetry and the interpretation. It's up to the readers. Much to think about when I read your words which prompted me to Google St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Very interesting.

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    1. Some day I will read more about her. I only gave her story the briefest of reads.

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  19. Thanks for hosting! Love the Eco quote, especially, "I've told you the why and how of my poem, so the interpretation is up to you." I've been leading my students in "unpacking poems" (learned from Tara at A Teaching Life) and this week, they worked completely independently for the first time. There were a few that went deep with their interpretation. Hopefully, there will be more and more as the year goes on. They're only 10, after all. They have a lifetime to hone their interpretive skills!

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    1. A little goes a long way. I only say this because I went at least two decades after college before picking up poetry. In high school and college the instructors beat all the fun out of it with their insistence upon "the theme." Sometimes a poem "means" absolutely nothing at all!

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  20. I posted and then you got me to thinking. So I added to my re-post, some ramblings this morning. Thanks! It was fun. So is your poem, in a dark kind of way! Lol! I can smell that heavy scent of rose and probably lily of the valley...

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    1. Lily of the valley, tea rose, gardenia, are heavy old-fashion scents that I imagine worked well in disguising the smells of life without disinfectants, deodorants, and refrigeration!

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  21. Diane, I love that you are fascinated by the saints even though you don't believe in them! A poet should always follow her curiosities... thank you for hosting and happy holidays to you! xo

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    1. Curiosity is a driving factor in my life!

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  22. Hi Diane, I always love your intelligent take on matters worldly, wise or winsome. Appreciations for wrapping us together today, with hugs for happiest of holidays.

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    1. Thank you, Jan! And happy holidays to you and yours!

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  23. Thanks for reminding us of sanctity. We can still aspire to it. We can still find a pureness in the fragrance of a rose.

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    1. It's really too bad that roses have been bred for size and the fragrance has gone by the wayside.

      There is almost nothing better than walking outdoors and being hit by a scent of flowers, or grapes, or cut grass...

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    2. Cottage roses still smell sweet. The fragrance of them trained over an archway is enough to change your religion.

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  24. I'm also intrigued by writing that starts off in one direction and then takes a turn on its own! Thanks for hosting!

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    1. I don't know if it's good or bad, but it happens to me more times than not!

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  25. Wow - I love that poem, Diane!!!(and thanks for hosting Poetry Friday....)

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  26. The mystery here is a blast...I keep wondering about her. And thank you for the quote too - copying it into my notebook. Thank you for hosting! x

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    1. I'm a big fan of quotes, but I don't have a notebook like you do. :-(

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  27. I have no interpretation of you poem, Diane--but the turn from your first stanza to the second surprised me, and then made me laugh. (I have no idea if you meant for it to be funny, but the saint to dollar-store image tickled me.)

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    1. I'm glad for the laughter, Buffy. I saw someone spraying rose air freshener and then passing away.

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  28. Diane, thanks for hosting this week. Along with everyone else, I loved your poem. It made me laugh and then reread it and laugh again. For some reason knowing that it took a twist for you as you wrote it, made me enjoy it even more.

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    1. It was supposed to be a contrast, that's for sure!

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  29. Thank you for hosting this week, Diane. The path your poem takes is intriguing. The "crazy lady...at the dollar store" reminds me of a great-aunt who bought Avon perfume by the truckload! Talk about the scent of roses!

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    1. I'll bet your great-aunt loved the little bottles and held on to them even after the scent was gone.

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  30. I spent time in a Dollar Store this week so its scents are fresh in my mind. The bolt out of the saintly bedchamber into the cluttered mind of a crazy parselmouth is fascinatingly wrenching.

    Thanks for rounding up and as usual I'm daunted by the wealth...

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    1. "Parselmouth" is a perfect description!

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  31. Your poem made me smile, Diane. Thank you for hosting this week.

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  32. Diane, I need to backtrack and see your other saintly poems. Growing up with the life of the saints prominent in Catholic school upbringing, I know some of the stories well. You always give me plenty to think about. As you can see I am very late to the Poetry Friday Roundup. Apologies for walking in late. Have a wonderful week.

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