Fragrant Life

Fragrant Life – Villanelle

How sweet the fragrance of my life today
The perfumed past comes drifting clearly by
Much sweeter as the moments fly away

Your skin upon the grass that summer’s day
The scent of love-filled air and you nearby
How sweet the fragrance of my life today

Wild roses and petunia seemed to pray
Raised aromatic psalms towards the sky
Much sweeter as the moments fell away

And honeysuckle vines did gently sway
As you gazed deeply then into my eyes
How sweet the fragrance of my life today

Those heady lilac days were here to stay
We drank our fill, our senses rising high
Much sweeter as the moments seeped away

Now the scent of memories comes to play
Aromas I will cling to till I die
How sweet the fragrance of my life today
More haunting as the years slip faraway.


57 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Norma (Through My Eyes)
    Mar 09, 2015 @ 12:59:32

    My that is beautiful Christine! Such wonderful images you’ve painted here! I read it a couple of times to make sure I took in all the words πŸ™‚


  2. Jane Thorne
    Mar 09, 2015 @ 13:00:59

    This poem brought tears to my eyes my lovely friend. Your bravery and spirit are an inspiration and love threads through all your words. Scents hold memories don’t they? Close your eyes and feel the roses I am sending you. ❀ Xxxx Soft hugs Xxxxx


  3. LΓ©a
    Mar 09, 2015 @ 13:19:55

    Fragrance/scent a powerful mnemonic device! Christine this is so beautiful and here it is a perfect day to be surrounded by the heady flowers. This may keep me going until I make it to your garden for coffee! xxxx


  4. Morgan
    Mar 09, 2015 @ 15:38:33



  5. elaine patricia
    Mar 09, 2015 @ 18:19:01

    Smashing villanelle. Well done Christine.


  6. Harry
    Mar 09, 2015 @ 19:29:40

    Lovely one Christine.


  7. Climbing Downhill
    Mar 10, 2015 @ 09:52:15

    Oh Christine, the last line. That last line brings it home.


  8. Cynthia Jobin
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 16:21:11

    Not an easy form, Christine, but your meter, rhyme and stanzas fulfill it perfectly. I find the difficult part of a villanelle is coming up with two lines that can bear so much repetition, and at the same time grow deeper in meaning as the poem evolves—rather than simply repeat. Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art” is often given as an example of one that succeeds in that way. I have one in my own archives (“Hey Nonny”) but I’m not sure it succeeds. I do think it’s a form difficult to do—for content, more than the form itself.


  9. journeyintopoetry
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 16:33:24

    Thank you Cynthia. It is a form I have only just come across and the two main ones I studied were Dylan Thomas, Rage rage… and Elizabeth Bishop’s One Art. I think you are right, those two repeating lines need to be strong enough to make the poem meaningful. I altered the lines slightly so it didn’t sound boring or stiff/stilted. Goodness me! I will soon be rolling out Petrachan sonnets by the dozen! πŸ˜„


  10. Cynthia Jobin
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 17:37:33

    I meant to tell you how much fun I had writing my poem Spare Change —about the encounter with a pan-handling wino. It’s actually a villanelle with very, very short lines. I discovered that there is no prescribed line length for a villanelle, so each line can be only two or three words, if you want. Upward and onward to Petrarch’s sonnet…I’m betting on you!


    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 11, 2015 @ 17:51:54

      Ah! I’ve now just read it again with villanelle eyes! When I first read it I hadn’t come across the villanelle. This is great news for me regarding line length! Although I must admit to being caught up somehow in this iambic pentameter thingy!

      Having recently written a couple of villanelles and a few sonnets, I’m finding it difficult to reset my brain to anything else! 😊


  11. bardessdmdenton
    Mar 13, 2015 @ 21:46:31

    Oh, so very lovely, Christine … as if growing sensuously and sweetly out of the earth and reaching to heaven. It gave me shivers … in a very good way. I love how you are expanding yourself through your writing … so that all who read your beautiful poetry expand their consciousness and sense of beauty and heart along with you. Well done with the form, but it is the spirit of poetry that lets it breathe effortlessly and effectively, I think. I felt so blessed as I read this one! XO ❀


    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 14, 2015 @ 11:14:22

      Diane, thank you so much. Your comment has brought tears to my eyes, tears that didn’t happen while writing it. Even the most raw/sad/in depth poems I write never cause me to shed tears until I separate myself from them for a while and when I return to them, the feeling often floods out. And that is exactly what your comment has initiated.

      Since I started experimenting with sonnets and villanelles I find that the structure can sometimes evoke far more passion from within than free-form and I find myself becoming much more absorbed in the poem. Maybe this is just a temporary thing but I am simply allowing it to happen and enjoying it’s too! 😊❀️ Xxx


  12. beckarooney
    Mar 14, 2015 @ 18:20:44

    What a beautifully poignant piece! The scent and sight of flowers never fail to emote memories from me too – it’s amazing what the powers of our senses can do. Written with true emotion as always, beautiful Christine πŸ™‚ xx


  13. SuzyHazelwood
    Mar 15, 2015 @ 02:04:22

    What a sweet poem Christine – and so different for you!β™₯ After reading three times I began to see a woman (from the 17th century) with one of those pure white wigs the rich ones used wear, speaking that poem as she walked through her rose garden. No idea where that came from!!! Possibly because I should be asleep – but I can’t sleep, so got up to do some late night reading. She must be in my dream head!! πŸ˜€ But your poem does have a very classic feel to it. If it was in an old poetry book I wouldn’t know it was written in 2015 – well done!!


  14. kathryningrid
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 04:31:43

    As sweet as honeysuckle, this poem. Now that you’ve made me look up what on earth a villanelle *is*, I suppose I shall have to study yours and see if I dare to follow in your pastoral footsteps to attempt the form too. πŸ™‚ For now, simply lovely to bask in your poem’s gentle and inviting garden! Tender, longing, and wistful.



    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 16, 2015 @ 10:20:49

      Thank you Kathryn! I think the most famous villanelle is Dylan Thomas – Do not go gentle into that good night … rage rage against the dying of the light.

      I have come to love this form. it just gives me so much more freedom to say what is bursting to come out when I can’t quite get there with free-form. 😊 xx


  15. Francina
    Mar 16, 2015 @ 15:22:11

    Superb villanelle, Christine, excellent written and oh so beautiful.
    love and hugs xoxo


  16. Minuscule Moments
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 10:31:20

    Christine, so beautiful I could almost smell the flowers. I hope you cat is okay xxxx


    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 17, 2015 @ 10:38:31

      Thanks so much Kath.
      Poppy, our cat is at the vets now. They are operating on her teeth as she hasn’t been eating and they think it’s because her teeth are bad. Her heart is still strong so if the blood tests are ok they will do the op. So it’s fingers crossed. She is almost 20 so the risk is higher of course. I just want her not to be in pain. She has been part of the family forever, it feels. But I know she is very old and I must he prepared for whatever… xxx


    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 18, 2015 @ 09:38:20

      Thank you Kath. Poppy pulled through and is home and eating again only a little but hopefully she isn’t in pain now. We have to give her a liquid painkiller for a few days. I know she is very old and can’t last forever, but whatever time she has I just want her to be content. xx


  17. Polly
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 11:28:42

    Ooooh! The Villanelle I was waiting for when I lost broadband – what a delight was awaiting me today – you’ve made it for me πŸ™‚


    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 17, 2015 @ 11:37:30

      Thank you Polly! And it’s good to see you back.
      I am enjoying writing villanelles and sonnets since being introduced to them at the writing group. In fact I’m finding it difficult to reset my brain to writing free-form again! πŸ˜„


  18. katepoet
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 15:25:01

    That wonderful feeling of antiquity that speaks today. Villanelles are so much fun to write!


  19. katepoet
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 16:10:20

    A very quickly done response

    Swiftly I Race

    Swift flows my mind through thoughts I did embrace.
    Life free ahead, a feast, ambrosia flowed.
    Through spheres of life my heart skipped o’er, I race.

    Love was the gift which filled my life with grace.
    All who glanced my way knew for passion showed.
    Swift flows my mind through thoughts I did embrace.

    I did not know I moved with too much haste.
    I savored not each breathe though shade forebode.
    Through spheres of life my heart skipped o’er, I race.

    Through it all you followed in loving chase.
    Heart ope’ to me, a sparkling warm geode.
    Swift flows my mind through thoughts I did embrace.

    What seemed whole cloth was fraught with holes, a lace.
    The disease grinds our essence, we erode.
    Through spheres of life my hearts skipped o’er, I race.

    I gathered threads, the filaments I trace.
    And prayed the strongest warp and weft yet glowed.
    Swift flows my mind through thoughts I did embrace.
    Through spheres of life my hearts skipped o’er, I race.


  20. katepoet
    Mar 17, 2015 @ 20:14:31

    Lately, MS and what I think is Alzheimer’s eat away at us. Life!


  21. Wendy L. Macdonald
    Mar 23, 2015 @ 01:39:12

    Christine, your lovely poem is timely as our garden and neighborhood are laden with the perfume of spring flowers. Fragrance often whispers sentiments from the past. It’s fun to listen and figure out what specific memory it’s evoking. I’ve ordered your poetry book from Amazon, and I look forward to reading it. ❀

    Blessings & hugs ~ Wendy ❀


    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 23, 2015 @ 10:25:02

      Thank you for this lovely comment Wendy, and for buying my book. It is so very much appreciated. My writing tutor has even offered to host a small book launch for me which is a privilege way beyond my wildest dreams xx


  22. John S
    Mar 26, 2015 @ 11:36:02

    Beautifully crafted with lovely lyrical quality. You have a great sense of sound with your word choices and your villanelle works progressively, driving the reader forward. Well done!


  23. Glenda Brown
    Jul 04, 2015 @ 20:18:01

    Every time I read this poem, Chris, I love it more. This one has ‘legs’ and I believe it to be one of your best, not merely for its superb sentiment, but also its technical achievement. It has a timeless quality that will abide long after we had gone. XXXX


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