According to the poet Robert Southey
His friend Wordsworth had no sense of smell.
Many things now make sense to me;
Why Wordsworth was so vain; so humorless;
Why the great poems were all written
In the first half of his long life.
Imagine a world with no smells!
No fresh bread in the wind; no sweat;
He would never, an old man, awaken
Having dreamt he breathed again
The scent of his lover’s hair.
Just once, Southey goes on, Wordsworth
Received the gift; one warm afternoon
Standing next to a rose bush.
What was it like? asked Southey
And was told it was as if
Heaven had thrown wide its gates.
A fine thing, the smell of roses,
But one breath of them, for a lifetime?
St. Peter saw the swinging gate
And pushed it shut.