Complete Poetry

By Oscar Wilde; Isobel B. Murray | Go to book overview

Notes
These notes have been kept to a minimum, and there is no attempt to indicate sources of influence in the early poems, or to gloss every place- name, whether in Oxfordshire or in Italy and Greece. The early poems are very taken up with ancient mythology. Wilde uses Greek and Latin deities interchangeably, depending on mood or metre at the time. Very common words such as Hellenic, Attic, Arcady, and Castaly, sacred to Apollo and the muses, are not glossed.Greek titles are glossed on the page, other foreign titles and epigraphs generally in the Notes. Besides Fong 'The Poetry of Oscar Wilde: A Critical Edition', Ph.D. thesis, University of California, Los Angeles ( 1978), other texts occasionally referred to include: Rupert Hart-Davis (ed.), Letters of Oscar Wilde ( 1962) and More Letters of Oscar Wilde ( 1985); Isobel Murray (ed.), The Oxford Authors Oscar Wilde ( 1989) and The Soul of Man and Prison Writings ( 1990); Robert Ross (ed.), Miscellanies in his collected edition of Wilde ( 1908); and Philip E. Smith II and Michael S. Helfand (eds.), Oscar Wilde's Oxford Notebooks ( 1989).
IChorus of Cloud-Maidens. A free translation of two songs (denoted 'strophe' and 'antistrophe' in the poem) from Aristophanes' The Clouds. The chorus would sing the strophe as it moved towards one side, answered by its exact counterpart as it returned.
l.16. Pallas-loved land: Athens.
l.18. Kekrops: legendary first king of Attica and founder of Athens.
3Requiescat: may she rest. Said to have been written in memory of Wilde's younger sister Isola, who died, aged 8, in 1867.
4San Miniato. Hill in Florence.
l.2. house of God: romanesque church of San Miniato al Monte.
l.3. Angel-Painter: fifteenth-century painter known as Fra Angelico. (Typically Wildean casual treatment of fact: Fra Angelico's works are in the Dominican monastery of San Marco.)
4By the Arno. The river on which Florence stands.
5Rome Unvisited. See More Letters, 23.
ll.9, 11, 13. Blessed Lady... Mother... Roma: Rome.
l.12. triple gold: the papal tiara.
6ll. 20-4. Fiesole... Apennines: the region round Florence visited by Wilde during his Italian tour, 1875.

-175-

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Complete Poetry
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements viii
  • Introduction ix
  • Chronology xvii
  • Note on the Text xix
  • Appendix Wilde's Ordering of Poems (1882) 173
  • Notes 175
  • Further Reading 207
  • Index of Titles and First Lines 208
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