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Top 10 Oscar Wilde Poems You Must Read

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Oscar Fingal O’Fflahertie Wills Wilde is popularly known as Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). He is a famous Irish playwright, poet, and author known for his wit and humor. His most well-known work is “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and “The Importance of Being Earnest”. But have a look at the top 10 poems of Oscar Wilde.

I. The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898)

He did not wear his scarlet coat,
For blood and wine are red,
And blood and wine were on his hands
When they found him with the dead,
The poor dead woman whom he loved,
And murdered in her bed.

Read Full Poem: The Ballad of Reading Gaol

Analysis: The Ballad of Reading Gaol is one of Wilde’s (1854 –1900) most famous poems of  Oscar Wilde. The poem reflects his experiences during his imprisonment in Reading Gaol (jail).

II. Requiescat (1881)

Tread lightly, she is near
Under the snow,
Speak gently, she can hear
The daisies grow.

Read Full Poem: Requiescat

Analysis: This iconic poem mourns the death of a young woman named Helena. The poem expresses both sorrow and a desire for eternal peace.

III. A Villanelle (1881)

O singer of Persephone!
In the dim meadows desolate
Dost thou remember Sicily?

Read Full Poem: A Villanelle

Analysis: Oscar Wilde’s (1854 –1900) Villanelle poem, “Theocritus: A Villanelle,” playfully captures the themes of love and longing through its complex form and dense imagery. The poem celebrates the beauty and complexity of desire.

IV. The Sphinx (1894)

In a dim corner of my room
For longer than my fancy thinks,
A beautiful and silent Sphinx
Has watched me through the shifting gloom.

Read Full Poem: The Sphinx

Analysis: This poem is known for exploring art, beauty, and the enigmatic nature of the Sphinx.

V. The Garden of Eros (1881)

It is full summer now, the heart of June;
Not yet the sunburnt reapers are astir
Upon the upland meadow where too soon
Rich autumn time, the season’s usurer,
Will lend his hoarded gold to all the trees,
And see his treasure scattered by the wild and spendthrift breeze.

Read Full Poem: The Garden of Eros

Analysis: “The Garden of Eros” explores themes of beauty, love, and the fleeting nature of youth and pleasure in the context of an idyllic garden. The poem ultimately conveys a sense of transience and the inevitable decay of all things beautiful.

VI. The Burden of Itys (1881)

This English Thames is holier far than Rome,
Those harebells like a sudden flush of sea
Breaking across the woodland, with the foam
Of meadow-sweet and white anemone
To fleck their blue waves,—God is likelier there,
Than hidden in that crystal-hearted star the pale monks bear!

Read Full Poem: The Burden of Itys

Analysis: The Burden of Itys” is an iconic poem by Oscar Wilde (1854 –1900). The poem explores the tragic consequences of beauty and youth fading with time.

VII. Flower Of Love (1881)

Sweet, I blame you not, for mine the fault was, had I not been made of common
clay
I had climbed the higher heights unclimbed yet, seen the fuller air, the
larger day.

From the wildness of my wasted passion I had struck a better, clearer song,
Lit some lighter light of freer freedom, battled with some Hydra-headed wrong.

Analysis: “Flower of Love” by Oscar Wilde (1854 –1900) is  the most celebraed poem. The poem explores the fleeting nature of beauty and love, emphasizing the importance of cherishing them while they last.

VII. A Vision (1881)

Two crowned Kings, and One that stood alone
With no green weight of laurels round his head,
But with sad eyes as one uncomforted,
And wearied with man’s never-ceasing moan
For sins no bleating victim can atone,
And sweet long lips with tears and kisses fed.

Analysis: Oscar Wilde’s (1854 –1900) “A Vision” is a captivating poem. The poem explores the themes of beauty, art, and desire through vivid and sensuous language.

IX. Apologia (1881)

IS it thy will that I should wax and wane,
Barter my cloth of gold for hodden grey,
And at thy pleasure weave that web of pain
Whose brightest threads are each a wasted day?

Analysis: “Apologia” by (1854 –1900) explores themes of self-acceptance and defiance in the face of societal condemnation. The poem offers a significant reflection on the complexities of identity and the consequences of being true to oneself.

X. Her Voice (1881)

THE wild bee reels from bough to bough
With his furry coat and his gauzy wing.
Now in a lily-cup, and now
Setting a jacinth bell a-swing,
In his wandering;
Sit closer love: it was here I trow
I made that vow,

Analysis: “Her Voice” by Oscar Wilde (1854 –1900) explores the captivating power of a woman’s voice in conveying deep emotions and desires.

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