Poets and doctors speaking of the heart in its many phases – the Hippocrates Book of the Heart anthology had its London launch on 6 December 2017 at the Medical Society of London. Each English poet read an extra poem by a poet who could not be present by virtue of their living on another continent: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the Far East.
I read ‘The Size of a Fist’ by New Yorker, Matthew Thorburn, along with my poem ‘The Smell of Hay’. It’s years since my father asked in the early days of his recovery from heart attack “what’s in the scent of new mown hay?” and I have only recently researched the answer. Hexenel, a component of Green Leaf Volatiles, or Hexanal released from the body immediately after death: both smell of cut grass.
The poem was written in ignorance of this, but clearly my father was on to something!