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Decadent Poetry from Wilde to Naidu

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The poems collected in this volume are exquisite and languorous expressions of a spirit of self-indulgence, eroticism and moral rebelliousness that emerged in the late Victorian age. They deal with eternal themes of transition, artifice and, above all, the cruel ravages of time - often depicting flowers, with their heady, perfumed beauty, as the embodiment of decay and des The poems collected in this volume are exquisite and languorous expressions of a spirit of self-indulgence, eroticism and moral rebelliousness that emerged in the late Victorian age. They deal with eternal themes of transition, artifice and, above all, the cruel ravages of time - often depicting flowers, with their heady, perfumed beauty, as the embodiment of decay and desire. Decadent Poetry brings together the works of many fascinating writers - Oscar Wilde on tainted love and the torments of the human spirit, Arthur Symons on an absinthe-induced stupor and the mysteries of the night, Rosamund Marriott Watson on disenchantment and memory, W. B. Yeats on waning passion and faded beauty, Ernest Dowson on lust and despair and Lord Alfred Douglas on shame and secret love, among many others of this exhilarating poetic movement.


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The poems collected in this volume are exquisite and languorous expressions of a spirit of self-indulgence, eroticism and moral rebelliousness that emerged in the late Victorian age. They deal with eternal themes of transition, artifice and, above all, the cruel ravages of time - often depicting flowers, with their heady, perfumed beauty, as the embodiment of decay and des The poems collected in this volume are exquisite and languorous expressions of a spirit of self-indulgence, eroticism and moral rebelliousness that emerged in the late Victorian age. They deal with eternal themes of transition, artifice and, above all, the cruel ravages of time - often depicting flowers, with their heady, perfumed beauty, as the embodiment of decay and desire. Decadent Poetry brings together the works of many fascinating writers - Oscar Wilde on tainted love and the torments of the human spirit, Arthur Symons on an absinthe-induced stupor and the mysteries of the night, Rosamund Marriott Watson on disenchantment and memory, W. B. Yeats on waning passion and faded beauty, Ernest Dowson on lust and despair and Lord Alfred Douglas on shame and secret love, among many others of this exhilarating poetic movement.

30 review for Decadent Poetry from Wilde to Naidu

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mark Desrosiers

    Yeah yeah, you were all swimming nude in a sensual lake of absinthe then toweling yourselves off with olde verse formats, but let me tell you, the results ain't pretty: The sky is up above the roof So blue, so soft! A tree there, up above the roof, Swayeth aloft. A bell within that sky we see, Chimes low and faint: A bird upon that tree we see Maketh complaint. Etc. etc. just awful! Those are the first two stanzas of an Ernest Dowson poem decadently entitled "After Paul Verlaine IV" And to add insult to s Yeah yeah, you were all swimming nude in a sensual lake of absinthe then toweling yourselves off with olde verse formats, but let me tell you, the results ain't pretty: The sky is up above the roof So blue, so soft! A tree there, up above the roof, Swayeth aloft. A bell within that sky we see, Chimes low and faint: A bird upon that tree we see Maketh complaint. Etc. etc. just awful! Those are the first two stanzas of an Ernest Dowson poem decadently entitled "After Paul Verlaine IV" And to add insult to sensual perfumèd injury, there are some very bad early Yeats poems included here too. Apparently he was "decadent" as a youth: When my arms wrap you round I press My heart upon the loveliness That has long faded from the world; The jewelled crowns that kings have hurled In shadowy pools, when armies fled; The love-tales wove with silken thread... I mean really, did they scrape that poem out of Yeats's septic tank decades after he flushed it? Max Beerbohm's poems here are pretty decent though.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lizzie

    I’ve read as much as I’m going to. Most of it wasn’t really my cup of tea. Naidu’s work was interesting, and I liked discussing Field in class. But overall...meh.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    Indespensable, compact, cheap. What more could one want.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chuck

    Nice theme collection, some really bad verse but some worthwhile lesser-known poets like Rosamund Marriott Watson that I wasn't familiar with. Nice theme collection, some really bad verse but some worthwhile lesser-known poets like Rosamund Marriott Watson that I wasn't familiar with.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Itch Iseatingnandos

    I somewhat enjoyed this collection, a few greats poems and a few duds. It backs my claim that decadence doesn't equal creativity but it's a nice throw back to when poets were rock stars I somewhat enjoyed this collection, a few greats poems and a few duds. It backs my claim that decadence doesn't equal creativity but it's a nice throw back to when poets were rock stars

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sam Olson

    Decent selection of poetry but thematically incredibly redundant. Layout and framing of poems could have been done exponentially better. Did find some new good ones though.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ashton

    lavish victorian era prose, sultry and risque

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emma Shores

  9. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Martin

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sean

  11. 5 out of 5

    Angela

  12. 5 out of 5

    Iona

  13. 4 out of 5

    pauline pentland

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nick Benning

  15. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jack

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jackee

  18. 4 out of 5

    James

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jana

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Cappellazzo

  21. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Harvey

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anne

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shell

  24. 5 out of 5

    Oliver Smith

  25. 5 out of 5

    Madly Jane

  26. 5 out of 5

    Willow Vincent

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tara

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shona

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  30. 5 out of 5

    April

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