Oscar Wilde Poems
Oscar Wilde is known for producing brilliant works in several literary fields, novels, plays, and poems. The first part of Wilde’s literary career was concerned with poetry. Wilde began publishing poems while still a student at Trinity College, Dublin, publishing his first collection, the aptly titled Poems in 1881. His poem “Ravenna” received the Newdigate Prize in 1878.
Oscar Wilde’s personality was heavily influenced by the aesthetic movement of the period. However, Poems, when it appeared, received mixed reviews, and were criticized for being derivative of other famous poets. “Panthea,” for example, is highly indicative of the aesthetic movement dedicated to physical pleasure, yet “Helas” and “E Tenebris” are more indicative of moral awareness.
One of Wilde’s most famous poems is “The Sphinx,” which he wrote in Paris in 1883. Some critics at the time felt it was artificial and sensational, but others have found great depth in the series of scenes in the sphinx becomes goddess, prophet, and lover.
The very last thing Oscar Wilde wrote was the poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol, which he wrote while still in prison. The epic tells the story of a young man condemned to death for the murder of his wife and details his last days. Many consider it to be the best and most serious piece of writing produced by Oscar Wilde.