Wilde, glamorous and notorious, more famous as a playwright or prisoner than as a poet, invites readers of his verse to meet an unknown and intimate figure. The poetry of his formative years includes the haunting elegy to his young sister and the grieving lyric at the death of his father. The religious drama of his romance with Rome is captured here, as well as its resolution in his renewed love of ancient Greece. He explores forbidden sexual desires, pays homage to the great theatre stars and poets of his day, observes cityscapes with impressionist intensity.
His final masterpiece, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, tells the painful story of his own prison experience and calls for universal compassion. This edition of Wilde's verse presents the full range of his achievement as a poet.