olfactory parade

Depending on what house you’re passing and which way the wind is blowing, Charlottesville either smells like magnolias, honeysuckle, and fresh-cut grass, or like vomit, urine, and rotting garbage.

Went to Revolutionary Soup today and they wanted five lines of Eliot. Since I excused myself from memorizing any Eliot last time I did not get the discount. Once again, I did not ask if the lines must be sequential.

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7 Responses to olfactory parade

  1. Steven Fama says:

    Czezlaw Milosz in an essay or maybe one of his non fiction books (can’t remember) said something about how not so long ago (i.e., when he was a kid in what is now Poland) the olfactory sensations were far more pronounced on the streets than they now are in developed nations. Mostly due to modern sewage disposal systems and the consequent disappearance of slop buckets and the habit of disposing them outside one’s homes.

    Milosz as I recall made a pretty good case that we moderns are missing out on something fundamental by not having a fairly stead onslaught of human smells as we walk the streets.

    I’m not so sure. But I will say that the limited “third-world” travelling I have done (a few days in certain parts of Tunisia in 1984) remain vivid in memory in large part based on the acuteness of the stench that was regularly encountered.

  2. Steven Fama says:

    I hate misspelling people’s anmes. Especially poets.

    So I should have written, above, “Czeslaw”.

    Sorry about that.

  3. Christopher McV ey says:

    I think we need to have a sit-down over some Eliot for a couple hours.

  4. Jessica Smith says:

    I think I’m just going to get a job at the soup place. Then the soup will be free, and I won’t have to read any goddamn poetry.

  5. Reen says:

    Soup is really our only friend. Really really.

  6. Jessica Smith says:

    Soup is warm and nourishing.

    And sometimes chilled. But still nourishing.

  7. jeannine says:

    Okay, this Eliot thing isn’t that bad. Just memorize the rhyming parts:
    “Do I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
    I shall wear white flannel trousers
    and walk upon the beach.
    I have heard the mermaids singing, calling each to each.
    I do not think they will sing to me.”
    Bam! Discounted soup.
    PS My mom helped me memorize this poem when I was ten. Just shows to go you what kind of crazy family I come from, having children memorizing Prufrock. I mean, how was I supposed to become a doctor or something after that?

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