William Carlos Williams

(17 September 1883 – 4 March 1963 / New Jersey)

Smell - Poem by William Carlos Williams

Oh strong-ridged and deeply hollowed
nose of mine! what will you not be smelling?
What tactless asses we are, you and I, boney nose,
always indiscriminate, always unashamed,
and now it is the souring flowers of the bedreggled
poplars: a festering pulp on the wet earth
beneath them. With what deep thirst
we quicken our desires
to that rank odor of a passing springtime!
Can you not be decent? Can you not reserve your ardors
for something less unlovely? What girl will care
for us, do you think, if we continue in these ways?
Must you taste everything? Must you know everything?
Must you have a part in everything?


Comments about Smell by William Carlos Williams

  • (10/19/2015 6:41:00 PM)

    How quaintly he personifies the noes and talks directly to it, as if it has life. (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Susan Williams (10/19/2015 1:46:00 PM)

    This is certainly a different topic- the unattractive nose and how it smells both the rose and the rank with equal energy. Oddly enough, I enjoyed the piece. (Report)Reply

    26 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (10/19/2015 9:32:00 AM)

    I wonder why you discontinue thy lines, sire. (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Pranab K Chakraborty (10/19/2015 6:40:00 AM)

    Intense and smart with passionate riding towards a valley of unending desire. Fantastic smell inspires the readers. (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
Read all 4 comments »



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Read poems about / on: girl, flower



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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