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Edited by Malcolm Hicks
Categories: 19th Century, Irish
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (128 pages)
(Pub. Sep 1997)
Then suddenly the tune went false,
The dancers wearied of the waltz,
The shadows ceased to wheel and whirl,
And down the long and silent street
The dawn with silver-sandalled feet,
Crept like a frightened girl.
from 'The Harlot's House'
The life and works of Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) have a perennial fascination for the theatre-going and reading public, and it is surprising that no separate edition of the poetry has been published for decades. Malcolm Hicks provides a generous and timely selection, introduction and notes. Here is the brilliant twenty-six-year-old's only collection of poems, which displays his sensuousness and technical precocity, with deft echoes of earlier masters. The young Wilde explores styles and forms to counteract what seemed to him the exhaustion of the poetic language current at the time. The substantial works of his later maturity - including 'The Harlot's House', The Sphynx and the legendary Ballad of Reading Gaol - are also included.
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