The smell of chrysanthemum leaves




Chrysanthemums are mentioned in a poem ( The inside dark ) from my thesis Deconstructing Light (2016)  In this thesis I used the theory of ikebana ( flower arranging) as an organizing principle for the collection of poems

When I was at university the first time (biological sciences) I had a holiday job in the hospital as a nurse aid in the antenatal ward.  I loved messing around with the flowers that were delivered daily to the ward. Lots of carnations with that lovely clove-y scent – roses of course and gladdies, and chrysanthemums which I was pretty negative about – it didn’t seem right that flowers should smell horrid. But years pass and I came to realize I loved the smell – the light greeny-ness of the flowers and the pepper green spicy camphor of the crushed leaves – a scent of autumn gone perhaps, and I discovered that in some cultures chrysanthemums may be associated with loss adversity or death