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Annual Sweet-Peas Smell So Good In The Poem “A Child’s Vision”

Lilac and lavender, roses and annual sweet-peas have distinctive and memorable scents.

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Photo: by Elaine with Grey Cats (flickr)

"Under the sweet-peas I stood..."

Most flowers capture our attention with their color or form, but some hold a unique place in our hearts because of their intoxicating perfume. Lilac and lavender, roses and annual sweet-peas have distinctive and memorable scents. The perennial sweet-pea, that is an aggressive grower, unlike the annual sweet-pea, has no perfume at all.

Alfred Noyes (1880- 1958) wrote the following poem entitled “A Child’s Vision.”

Under the sweet-peas I stood
And drew deep breaths, they smelt so good.
Then, with strange enchanted eyes,
I saw them change to butterflies.

Higher than the skylark sings
I saw their fluttering crimson wings
Leave their garden-trellis bare
And fly into the upper air.

Standing in an elfin trance
Through the clouds I saw them glance….
Then I stretched my hands up high
And touched them in the distant sky.

At once the coloured wing came back
From wandering in the zodiac.
Under the sweet-peas I stood
And drew deep breaths. They smelt so good.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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