Tuesday, 12 October 2010

A Whoosh of Memory

I joined Nottingham Writers' Studio last week, a new writing group. Unfortunately I wasn't free to attend their workshop, but I met up with several members at a poetry reading event at Waterstones. After cakes, hot chocolate and some beautiful poetry (not necessarily in that order), I walked to The Lace Market with two other writers.
I love the beautiful ornate buildings in The Lace Market. The writers' studio is in one of these such buildings. What I wasn't expecting though, was the rush of memories that invaded me as we walked up the spiral staircase to the second floor. The bitter-sweet pungent smell of old wood reminded me of being a young girl, making my way up a dark, cool, spiral staircase to ballet class each Saturday morning. As I walked the spiral staircase to the writers' studio, the evocative smells took me back to the days of pink leotards, pony tails and scuffed ballet shoes. Like a fading perfume, the patinaed wood whooshed me back through the years. A heady, almost acidic fragrance.
It's wonderful how aromas can conjure up a particular place, time or person. When writing a scene in my novel, I love to introduce the sense of smell. Whether it be mown grass, a roasting chicken or wood smoke, it adds another layer to the picture I'm trying to paint with words.
As well as aging wood, the perfume of the flowering redcurrant bush always transports me back to my childhood garden. Smelling the heady fat pink blossoms each summer, I can almost feel the sunshine on my bare legs as a ten year old.
Hope you like my poem about my favourite flowering blossom.

Pink With Pleasure

Underneath the silver birch
They'd hang, pink with pleasure,
Blossoms blushing
Full and frothing.
Beneath the birch's lolling boughs
I'd read, or sing or dream.
Looking through the dappled light
To pale bare skies
Where contrails paint across the blue.
As a child, so many days
Spent beneath the verdant boughs
Embracing their beauty.
And today
When many years have passed,
I smell their fragrance
And remember
And smile.

Angela Barton

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