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This volume of Wilde's powerful poetry follows as closely as possible the chronological order of composition, highlighting autobiographical elements including the young Wilde's conflicting attitudes to Greece and Rome, pagan and Christian, and his fluctuating attraction to Roman Catholicism. The Appendix shows Wilde's original ordering, constructed with great care around a This volume of Wilde's powerful poetry follows as closely as possible the chronological order of composition, highlighting autobiographical elements including the young Wilde's conflicting attitudes to Greece and Rome, pagan and Christian, and his fluctuating attraction to Roman Catholicism. The Appendix shows Wilde's original ordering, constructed with great care around a "musical" arrangement of themes. The poems reveal unexpected aspects of a literary chameleon usually identified with sparkling wit and social comedy.


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This volume of Wilde's powerful poetry follows as closely as possible the chronological order of composition, highlighting autobiographical elements including the young Wilde's conflicting attitudes to Greece and Rome, pagan and Christian, and his fluctuating attraction to Roman Catholicism. The Appendix shows Wilde's original ordering, constructed with great care around a This volume of Wilde's powerful poetry follows as closely as possible the chronological order of composition, highlighting autobiographical elements including the young Wilde's conflicting attitudes to Greece and Rome, pagan and Christian, and his fluctuating attraction to Roman Catholicism. The Appendix shows Wilde's original ordering, constructed with great care around a "musical" arrangement of themes. The poems reveal unexpected aspects of a literary chameleon usually identified with sparkling wit and social comedy.

30 review for Complete Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    Oscar Wilde is a fantastic playwright. His stage pieces are sharp, witty and dangerous. The Importance of Being Earnest is one of my favourite plays: it’s Wilde at his absolute best. His poetry, on the hand, is drivel. Let us rewind a little, Wilde wrote most of these before he established his literary genius, so long before he became a renowned cynic full of sarcasm and social commentary; thus, it has no personality, no flare or fire: it is simply lifeless. Most of it is passionless verse that Oscar Wilde is a fantastic playwright. His stage pieces are sharp, witty and dangerous. The Importance of Being Earnest is one of my favourite plays: it’s Wilde at his absolute best. His poetry, on the hand, is drivel. Let us rewind a little, Wilde wrote most of these before he established his literary genius, so long before he became a renowned cynic full of sarcasm and social commentary; thus, it has no personality, no flare or fire: it is simply lifeless. Most of it is passionless verse that is inconsistent and doesn’t really come together to create a strong poetical voice. The Romantics and the Modernists had a purpose in their art; Wilde has no purpose here as he jumps from topic to topic and poem to poem. Again, this is to be expected considering he had not found his purpose for writing at this point, though it is still rather dull to read. The Ballad of Reading Goal is the exception but it stands aside from the other poems and is clearly a more developed work. I would only recommend this to a reader who is interested in tracking the man’s literary development rather than one who is on the hunt for poetry that is engaging, emotionally stimulating and intelligent. I do wonder what an older, more critical, Wilde though to these. Food for thought.

  2. 4 out of 5

    E. G.

    Acknowledgments Introduction Chronology Note on the Text --Chorus of Cloud-Maidens --From Spring Days to Winter --Requiescat --San Miniato --By the Arno --Rome Unvisited --La Bella Donna Della Mia Mente --Chanson --The Dole of the King's Daughter --Αἴλινον, αἴλινον εἰπέ, τὸ δ’ εὖ νικάτω --The True Knowledge --Θρηνωδια --Lotus Leaves --A Fragment from the Agamemnon of Aeschylos --A Vision --Sonnet on Approaching Italy --Sonnet Written in Holy Week at Genoa --Impression de Voyage --The Theatre at Argos --Urbs Sacra Æter Acknowledgments Introduction Chronology Note on the Text --Chorus of Cloud-Maidens --From Spring Days to Winter --Requiescat --San Miniato --By the Arno --Rome Unvisited --La Bella Donna Della Mia Mente --Chanson --The Dole of the King's Daughter --Αἴλινον, αἴλινον εἰπέ, τὸ δ’ εὖ νικάτω --The True Knowledge --Θρηνωδια --Lotus Leaves --A Fragment from the Agamemnon of Aeschylos --A Vision --Sonnet on Approaching Italy --Sonnet Written in Holy Week at Genoa --Impression de Voyage --The Theatre at Argos --Urbs Sacra Æterna --The Grave of Keats --Sonnet on the Massacre of the Christians in Bulgaria --Easter Day --Sonnet on Hearing the Dies Iræ Sung in the Sistine Chapel --Italia --Vita Nuova --E Tenebris --Quantum Mutata --To Milton --Ave Maria Plena Gratia --Wasted Days --The Grave of Shelley --Santa Decca --Theoretikos --Amor Intellectualis --At Verona --Ravenna --Magdalen Walks --The Burden of Itys --Theocritus: A Villanelle --Endymion --Charmides --Ballade de Marguerite --Humanitad --Athanasia --The New Helen --Panthea --Phèdre --Queen Henrietta Maria --Louis Napoleon --Madonna Mia --Roses and Rue --Portia --Apologia --Quia Multum Amavi --Silentium Amoris --Her Voice --My Voice --Γλυκοπικρος ερως --The Garden of Eros --Ave Imperatrix --Pan: Double Villanelle --Sen Artysty; or, The Artist's Dream --Libertatis Sacra Fames --Sonnet to Liberty --Tædium Vitæ --Fabien dei Franchi --Serenade --Camma --Impression du Matin --In the Gold Room: A Harmony Impressions: --I. Les Silhouettes --II. La Fuite de la Lune --III. Le Réveillon --Hélas! Impressions: --I. Le Jardin --II. La Mer --Le Jardin des Tuileries --The Harlot's House Fantaisies Décoratives: --I. Le Panneau --II. Les Ballons --Under the Balcony --To My Wife: With a Copy of My Poems --Sonnet on the Sale by Auction of Keats' Love Letters --The New Remorse --Canzonet --With a Copy of 'A House of Pomegranates' --Symphony in Yellow --In the Forest --The Sphinx --The Ballad of Reading Gaol Appendix: Wilde's Ordering of 'Poems' (1882) Notes Further Reading Index of Titles and First Lines

  3. 5 out of 5

    panisafa

    can‘t believe oscar wilde invented literature

  4. 4 out of 5

    kler

    I'm speechless. His words sound like a very melodious symphony and you never want it to end. The last poem "Glukupicros Erôs" is one of the most beautiful thing I have ever read. I'm speechless. His words sound like a very melodious symphony and you never want it to end. The last poem "Glukupicros Erôs" is one of the most beautiful thing I have ever read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    zoe raimondi

    Es un poco dificil puntuar una colección de poemas, muchos daban para dos o tres estrellas y otros para cinco. En algunos casos no pude entender si no me gustaban porque todavía no estoy acostumbrada a leer poesía, porque el poema era malo o porque el Oscar se pone un poco pesado. Anyways... top de los que mas me gustaron: (sin orden en especifico) ▪︎"El discípulo" ▪︎"La esfinge" ▪︎"Helas!" ▪︎"Requiescat" ▪︎"Impressions" ("Les silhouettes" y "La fuite de la lune" ) ▪︎Silentium Amoris ▪︎Impression du ma Es un poco dificil puntuar una colección de poemas, muchos daban para dos o tres estrellas y otros para cinco. En algunos casos no pude entender si no me gustaban porque todavía no estoy acostumbrada a leer poesía, porque el poema era malo o porque el Oscar se pone un poco pesado. Anyways... top de los que mas me gustaron: (sin orden en especifico) ▪︎"El discípulo" ▪︎"La esfinge" ▪︎"Helas!" ▪︎"Requiescat" ▪︎"Impressions" ("Les silhouettes" y "La fuite de la lune" ) ▪︎Silentium Amoris ▪︎Impression du matin ▪︎"Su voz" ▪︎"Mi voz" ▪︎"Balada de la cárcel de Reading" ( si sacamos que justifica a un femicida :) )

  6. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Brilliant, esp. "Reading Gaol", which is heartbreaking and beautiful. Brilliant, esp. "Reading Gaol", which is heartbreaking and beautiful.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sean Meagher

    A mixed bag of assorted poems written on vastly different topics over a number of years and locales. Some are less impactful without much context provided, but all clearly illustrate Wilde’s love of language. My favorite by far was Ravenna: Adieu! Adieu! yon silent evening star, The night's ambassador, cloth gleam afar, And bid the shepherd bring his flocks to fold. Perchance before our island seas of gold Are garnered by the reapers into sheaves, Perchance before I see the Autumn leaves, I may b A mixed bag of assorted poems written on vastly different topics over a number of years and locales. Some are less impactful without much context provided, but all clearly illustrate Wilde’s love of language. My favorite by far was Ravenna: Adieu! Adieu! yon silent evening star, The night's ambassador, cloth gleam afar, And bid the shepherd bring his flocks to fold. Perchance before our island seas of gold Are garnered by the reapers into sheaves, Perchance before I see the Autumn leaves, I may behold thy city; and lay down Low at thy feet the poet's laurel crown. Adieu! Adieu! yon silver lamp, the moon, Which turns our midnight into perfect noon, Doth surely light thy towers, guarding well Where Dante sleeps, where Byron loved to dwell.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rowan

    Of the classic literature pioneers, I’ve always loved Oscar Wilde, but I actually hadn’t read a lot of his works besides Dorian Gray. I’ve never been a poetry person (though by now, with how many times I’ve read certain poetry and enjoyed it, I should really just say I’m a poetry person depending on the poet) but I loved Oscar Wilde’s poems. I highlighted a lot of individual lines throughout this collection, and I think his poems are clearer and easier for me to understand than most classic poet Of the classic literature pioneers, I’ve always loved Oscar Wilde, but I actually hadn’t read a lot of his works besides Dorian Gray. I’ve never been a poetry person (though by now, with how many times I’ve read certain poetry and enjoyed it, I should really just say I’m a poetry person depending on the poet) but I loved Oscar Wilde’s poems. I highlighted a lot of individual lines throughout this collection, and I think his poems are clearer and easier for me to understand than most classic poets. This collection, Dorian Gray, and a small book of epigrams are all the Wilde works I’ve read, but I’ll be on the hunt now for a collection of his complete works.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Misha

    The Ballad of Reading Gaol and The Harlot’s House were excellent. The rest of the poems were very pretty and denote a decadent aesthetic, but they lacked feeling and after reading about 10 i was tired of them

  10. 5 out of 5

    Julia P

    I liked the Reading Gaol, but otherwise not really.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Adam Gallacher

    After reading The picture of Dorian gray I craved more, I need more of Wilde so I got his poetry and WOW, one of my favourite poets! His writing is just so beautiful! I highly recommend! :)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dreamer_boy7

    https://youtu.be/wt6VKcOhcuw https://youtu.be/wt6VKcOhcuw

  13. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    Some great ones but mostly just some okay ones

  14. 4 out of 5

    Théa

    Oscar petit pote, ton obsession pour la virginité est clairement malsaine

  15. 4 out of 5

    Liselotte

    DNF. I love Oscar Wilde's short stories but I really thought I would've liked his poetry as well, but unfortunately I don't. I'm not really sure why, but I just don't. Such a shame for me, but at least I know now to just read more of his stories! :) DNF. I love Oscar Wilde's short stories but I really thought I would've liked his poetry as well, but unfortunately I don't. I'm not really sure why, but I just don't. Such a shame for me, but at least I know now to just read more of his stories! :)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Yohanes Saputra

    I love Wilde's short stories and novels. But this thing, I can't get to. It's lifeless, some are meh. It can be tiring. I can't finish it. Sorry, Wilde I love Wilde's short stories and novels. But this thing, I can't get to. It's lifeless, some are meh. It can be tiring. I can't finish it. Sorry, Wilde

  17. 4 out of 5

    James F

    (Not in this edition, but in Oscar Wilde, Complete Writings [Nottingham Society, v.7]: Poems [ed. 1909; written between 1870-1898] 345 pages) I picked up Wilde's writings because his novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, is the reading for one of my groups for next month; but I got sidetracked reading his poetry. I have not read much of Wilde before. He called himself a pre-Raphaelite, and the poems are obviously influenced by that movement, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and especially Algernon Swinburne. (Not in this edition, but in Oscar Wilde, Complete Writings [Nottingham Society, v.7]: Poems [ed. 1909; written between 1870-1898] 345 pages) I picked up Wilde's writings because his novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, is the reading for one of my groups for next month; but I got sidetracked reading his poetry. I have not read much of Wilde before. He called himself a pre-Raphaelite, and the poems are obviously influenced by that movement, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and especially Algernon Swinburne. I suppose I liked the poetry for the same reason I like (some of) Swinburne's poetry -- the pagan spirit of freedom, the allusions to mythology and history, the sensual imagery. My only criticism is that it is a little too flower-y (literally). But I enjoyed almost all except for the poems titled "Rosa Mystica", written during his brief interest in Catholicism -- I assumed these were among the earliest in the collection, and a search on the Internet confirmed that they were in fact the first written in the early 70's, although almost all the poems were published at the same time in 1881. Although some of the longer poems are somewhat disjointed, they seem to be more consistent in tone than Swinburne, who has great passages with uninspired padding. I'm glad I let myself get sidetracked by these; now back to the novel.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sofia

    Everyday I confirm all the things that come out from Wilde's brain are the peak of literature. Everyday I confirm all the things that come out from Wilde's brain are the peak of literature.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Faten Eassa

    And me and all the souls in pain Who tramped the other ring, Forgot if we ourselves had done A great or little thing; And watched with gaze of dull amaze The man who had to swing.. For strange it was to see him pass With a step so light and gay; And strange it was to see him look So wistfully at the day; And strange it was to know that he Had such a debt to pay..

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I've never been fan of peotry and Oscar Wilde's poetry - while it's very good - didn't make big impression on me. I've never been fan of peotry and Oscar Wilde's poetry - while it's very good - didn't make big impression on me.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    Wilde's writing style is sensual and emotional; often it is a passionate prayer. I loved reading The Garden of Eros and The New Helen. I was deeply moved by The Ballad of Reading Gaol. Wilde's writing style is sensual and emotional; often it is a passionate prayer. I loved reading The Garden of Eros and The New Helen. I was deeply moved by The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nienke

    Already loved Wilde for his books but his poetry is outstanding. Could be a good study for poetry students.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jonna.

    not my favourite author for nothing :)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

    AP 12, for poet paper

  25. 5 out of 5

    Monny

  26. 4 out of 5

    Giselle

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hana

  28. 4 out of 5

    Luciano

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dylan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alva Sundén

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