The Garden of Eros

I was drawn to the idea of using this poem by Oscar Wilde as a blog post simply because I wanted something timely to celebrate the abundance of lovely flowers in my Garden, especially the Honeysuckle which has started dispensing an extraordinary perfume in the evenings. I hadn’t seen this poem before yesterday, but noticed that the (superb) first verse mentions the month of June, which made it especially timely:

It is full summer now, the heart of June,
Not yet the sun-burnt reapers are a-stir
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.

Once I started reading it, however, I was completely captivated. Amongst other things, it’s a lament against the growth of materialism in the 19th Century. Although the language is as over-the-top as you would expect for Oscar Wilde, it’s a beautifully sustained work and Wilde’s natural flair for words shines throughout. He refers in admiration to a large number of other poets (including Keats, Shelley, Swinburne, Rossetti and William Morris), but I think it’s unfortunate that Wilde isn’t as much appreciated as a poet as he is as a playwright.

It’s not really feasible to post the entire text because it’s so very long but fortunately I found an excellent reading that lasts about 15 minutes so it’s split over two youtube-sized chunks. I hope you find time to listen to it all and simply bask in the glow of a true genius…

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