Oscar Wilde

(1854-1900 / Dublin / Ireland)

A Vision


Two crowned Kings, and One that stood alone
With no green weight of laurels round his head,
But with sad eyes as one uncomforted,
And wearied with man's never-ceasing moan
For sins no bleating victim can atone,
And sweet long lips with tears and kisses fed.
Girt was he in a garment black and red,
And at his feet I marked a broken stone
Which sent up lilies, dove-like, to his knees.
Now at their sight, my heart being lit with flame,
I cried to Beatrice, 'Who are these? '
And she made answer, knowing well each name,
'AEschylos first, the second Sophokles,
And last (wide stream of tears!) Euripides.'

Submitted: Friday, May 18, 2001
Edited: Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Form:

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  • Rookie Gogo Amin (5/9/2013 10:42:00 PM)

    vampire for how long you will act? ! think in the old house just once... terrific right i can hear too. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 83 Points Meshack Bankole (5/9/2013 4:11:00 AM)

    14 lines - sonnet! Dramatic but what has the 3 tragedians of ancient greek had to do with “a vision“? Wilde thought out of tragedy... maybe! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Jennifer Kay Simmons (10/12/2012 5:21:00 AM)

    wow.......... trust no one.Sh#* happens, and so does love..... If you do not know how to enter a fantasy you will usually end up lost with some one that you wish you never brought along...or surrounded by friends and enemies, whats the difference? ..........a bit depressing....and interesting... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 491 Points Juan Olivarez (5/9/2011 11:21:00 AM)

    Maybe it's because they could spell simple words.And I can see where the ignoramus part comes in. Yes indeed. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Claudia Krizay (5/9/2011 9:25:00 AM)

    I think that WIlde must have been not too inspired when he wrote this poem- as if he wanted to write butt couldn't think of anything so he spewed out this garbage. I agree with Straw and Pruchnicki- comments are written by ignoramuses who know nothing about poetry - and as Straw says-definitely 'pudding over sugared! ! . It really throws me as to why some of these poets ever got to famous inn the first place! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 491 Points Juan Olivarez (5/9/2010 10:22:00 AM)

    though Oscar Wilde is better known to me because of the horror story'picture of dorian gray' he was an putstanding poet. this is a perfect example. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 461 Points Ramesh T A (5/9/2010 3:33:00 AM)

    A difficult poem to digest unless one is aware of religion and literature of the past era! Wilde is wild in composition! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Michael Harmon (5/9/2009 8:04:00 PM)

    Virgil was Dante's guide through Hell and Purgatory. Beatrice was Dante's guide through Paradise. Dante put anyone who was virtuous but pagan (born before Christ) into Limbo, in Hell. Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripides, all born before Christ, would have been virtuous but pagan. Therefore, Dante would have placed them in Hell. 'Now at their sight...I cried to Beatrice', indicates both they (Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripides) and Beatrice and Dante are at the same place at the same time.
    It would appear that 'Beatrice' should be 'Virgil' in this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Michael Pruchnicki (5/9/2009 10:36:00 AM)

    What in the world is 'sort of the hand behind the throne syndrome'? The KINGS that Poewhit mentions are the great playwrights of ancient Greece. For Straw's information, the poet in question is Dante Alighieri, Italian poet whose DIVINE COMEDY is the epic that Wilde refers to. And the woman the speaker addresses is Beatrice, Dante's beloved and the symbol of divine revelation through faith.

    I do get tired of reading comments written by hypercritical ignoramuses who know nothing about poetry, but who interpret every poem without consulting even the most basic of reference works. They judge flying by the seat of their pants! And it shows! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 21 Points Joseph Poewhit (5/9/2009 8:23:00 AM)

    Captures the nature of even KINGS, wondering about and pouting. Then who to the solace of the woman, for advice. Sort of the hand behind the throne syndrome. In under tone, there is a mocking of KINGS, who fall short of being true KINGS in having command of understanding situation. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kevin Straw (5/9/2009 7:02:00 AM)

    There is something nauseating about Wilde's poetry, like a pudding over-sugared. Did he never read Shakespeare, Donne, Wordsworth, Keats (of course he did, but did he ever learn from them?) ?
    This poem is like one of those Edwardian rooms crammed with over-elaborate furniture and over-sentimental pictures. What are 'long lips'? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Michael Pruchnicki (5/9/2008 9:22:00 AM)

    The crowned kings are the Greek tragic playwrights Aeschylos
    and Sophocles, awarded laurel crowns fot their successful plays
    performed in Athens. The one uncrowned was their younger
    contemporary Euripides, who was castigated and eventually fled
    from Athens. The anonymous speaker is Wilde who was forced
    from the public light and imprisoned for alleged homosexuality.
    The cry to Beatrice refers to Dante who was forced to flee his
    political enemies in Italy.

    The plays by Euripides are almost modern in their treatment of
    social issues like homosexuality and women's rights, so it seems
    natural that Wilde himself interested in these issues would identify
    with both Euripides and Dante.

    The 'wide stream of tears' are shed for both Euripides and Wilde,
    who has been portrayed in paintings as holding a white lily, almost
    dove-like in their suggestion of his innocence! (Report) Reply

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