Scent Verse: Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore

18th December, 2018

Scent Verse is a poetry project curated by Basenotes writer Eddie Bulliqi that seeks to explore scent language and metaphors by publishing poems from contributors across different industries that either take scent as their inspiration or are very evocative of smell. 

If you are interested in being involved, please send a direct message here on Basenotes.

Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore 

by Tyson C. Anderson



Even half-drowned the lady shines,
Majestic in the wrath of heaven
as the rain kicks stone dust high,
disturbs the clouds of coffee, sweat,
and fresh baked bread
clinging to her stones
as she breathes dearest,
beloved trees
in tears of frankincense and myrrh,
the gentle activity of bees and prayer
in warm wax running in legs
down the tangy spice of silver and gold.

The sermons of charcoal 
admonish the air
while the choir rises like smoke
giving fevered heat to her dome,
While through her doors
opened wide
thrusts a chill wind,
bringing the promise of autumn leaves
and white winter truffles.


You can view all of the poems in the Scent Verse project here.

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About the author: Tyson C. Anderson

Tyson Anderson was born in Tampa, Florida and lives and works in the Washington, DC area as a linguist. He also has a line of men’s grooming products for which he makes the scents. He suffered from early exposure to the works of Poe, Carrol, and Yeats and never quite recovered.


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    • David Ruskin | 18th December 2018 18:02

      In this series of supposed poems, I have yet to read a single one that could be described as a poem. Writing prose in unequal lines, is not poetry.

    • epapsiou | 18th December 2018 18:37

      Welcome back David. You were missed.

    • Johnny_Ludlow | 18th December 2018 18:47

      Could not disagree more wholeheartedly with David Ruskin. Not only is this written in perfectly fine poetry form, it paints a vivid picture. One that I can feel.

      Also, even if it wasn't poetry in the traditional sense, who are you to judge what constitutes poetry? It's not often one has to read such ignoble comments.

    • cacio | 18th December 2018 18:49

      The title had me afraid of yet another antica farmacia in Florence. But luckily it's a poem, a beautiful fantasy on the church and the square (at least when it's not jam packed with tourists wielding selfie sticks).


    • David Ruskin | 18th December 2018 19:36

      No, it isn't Poetry. No rhyme, no rhythm, no metre. It is very easy to find out what is, or is not, poetry. Should you wish to write "verse libre", or "prose poetry" then go ahead, but do not claim it to be what it isn't. I repeat, I have yet to read what I consider to be a poem, in this series.

    • Hazel5 | 19th December 2018 13:53

      Wonderful. Poetry. Thank you.

    • Thea in Fl | 23rd December 2018 23:19

      Oxymoron says it best

      consider careful then let rest




    • pecancorner | 24th December 2018 07:36

      I second that. Although I have only recently "joined", I've been a reader of the DIY forum for quite a while. Mr Ruskin, I am glad to see you.

      Tina Howard

    • Thea in Fl | 24th December 2018 21:37

      I was looking at where you said "prose poetry" so that is where the first line came from, then some alliteration, then a rhyming word, then the last simply means that I smell nothing in those poems. I should smell something.