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 Sphinx and the legendary Ballad of Reading Gao-are also included.
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B&R Samizdat Express
April 11, 2002
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