About "Of Their Sweet Deaths Are Sweetest Odours Made"

By Barbara Krasnoff
Mar 13, 2021 · 223 words · 1 minute

From the author: The story behind the story: "Of Their Sweet Deaths Are Sweetest Odours Made"

"Of Their Sweet Deaths Are Sweetest Odours Made" was the second story I sold to the short-lived Triptych Tales.

The story behind the story: Sometimes, as you get older, if you haven't accomplished what you had hoped to -- whether in terms of family, experiences, art, fame, or whatever your dreams were when you were younger -- it's difficult not to look upon all the lost opportunities of your life, count them up, and dwell on all the ways you failed. This can lead to real despair. Sometimes you get over it; sometimes, I assume, you do not. I have many of these moments, and after one of them, I wrote this.

The title is taken from a Shakespeare's Sonnet LIV:

O! how much more doth beauty beauteous seem
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give.
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour, which doth in it live.
The canker blooms have full as deep a dye
As the perfumed tincture of the roses,
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly
When summer's breath their masked buds discloses:
But, for their virtue only is their show,
They live unwoo'd, and unrespected fade;
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so;
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made:
   And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
   When that shall vade, my verse distills your truth.

Barbara Krasnoff

Writer of weird speculative short stories.