Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irish writer, poet, playwright, literary critic, and internationally prominent aesthete, especially in London. Eminently quotable, he best remembered for his many epigrams, and his plays, which are still revived (e.g., The Importance of Being Earnest), and his eerie novel, Picture of Dorian Gray.

A sad commentary upon his times, he is also remembered for serving two years of hard labour for “homosexual acts”, which he memorialized in his poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol. Two years after his release, he died at age 46.

Oscar Wilde’s Poems are classically constructed, in well-metered and perfectly rhymed couplets, quatrains, sonnets, etc. His similes, metaphors and epigrams are memorable and it is impossible to do him justice by quoting a few lines, and, for once, I’ll resist the urge to make any exception. Suffice it to say that, if you enjoy classic poetry, Oscar Wilde’s Poems are well worth reading.