Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2009

Finding Out You Both Like Smelling Old Books

by Colin Fisher

The book taken,
It is opened,
The pages sniffed
And then the smile.
Pleasure in the
Smell of Kafka's The Trial
(Penguin Classics, 1963).
And after my return
From Scotland, my mum's
Copy of Rex Warner's The Airfield
From 1943.
(Penguin again, her name printed
In ink
On the first page).
Delicately held
(The spine ready to split:
Wartime paper regulations, you see),
The chin raised, eyes closed,
As if smelling a bowl of homemade soup.
'It smells wonderful', she said.
I nodded.
'I know,' I replied,
Spender's The Destructive Element in my hand
(Jonathan Cape, 1935).

Added: 24.04.2009