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Oscar Wilde Poetry Reading


When narcissus died the pool of his
pleasure changed from a cup of sweet waters into a cup of salt tears and the
OReads came weeping through the woodland that they might sing to the
pool and give it comfort and when they saw that the pool had changed from a cup
of sweet waters into a cup of salt tears they loosened the tresses of their hair
and cried to the pool and said: We do not wonder that you should mourn in this
manner for narcissus so beautiful was he but was narcissus beautiful? said the pool.
Who should know better than you? answered the OReads. Us did he ever pass by but
you he sought for and would lie on your banks and look down at you and in the
mirror of your waters he would mirror his own beauty. And the pool answered but
I love narcissists because as he lay on my banks and looked down at me in the
mirror of his eyes I saw my beauty mirrored.
We caught the tread dancing
feet we loitered down the moonlit Street and stopped beneath the harlots house. in
Inside, above the din and fray we heard the loud musicians play The ‘Treues Liebes Herz’ of Strauss. strange mechanical grotesques
making fantastic arabesques. The shadows raced across the blind we watched the
ghostly dancers spin to sound of horn and violin. Like black leaves wheeling in
the wind. Like wire pulled automatons slim silhouetted skeletons went sliding
through the slow quadrille then took each other by the hand and danced a
stately saraband their laughter echoed thin and shrill sometimes a clockwork
puppet pressed a phantom lover to her breast. Sometimes they seem to try and
sing. Sometimes a horrible marionette came out and smoked his cigarette upon
the steps like a live thing.
Then turning to my love I said: the dead are dancing
with the dead. The dust is whirling with the dust. But she — she heard the
violin and left my side and entered in Love passed into the house of lust. Then
suddenly the tune went false. The dancers wearied of the waltz the shadows ceased
to wheel and whirl and down the long silent street the dawn with silver
sandaled feet crept like a frightened girl.
The Heron passes homeward to the
mere. The blue mist creeps among the shivering trees. Gold world by
world the silent stars appear and like a blossom blown before the breeze
A white moon drifts across the shimmering sky Mute arbitress of all thy sad thy
rapturous threnody.
What’s neat about this old beat-up book here is that I got
it from an old used bookstore and it came with this little chit, which I don’t
know if you can see on it, it says “Hemingway’s” on it, which is a favorite
author of mine. And it is from a bar, I think, in Toronto which I haven’t gone to
yet, but I plan to because of this

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Comments
  • Oscar Wilde is a very interesting character in history. Great video, I think "The Harlots House" is my favorite out of those. I think it would be really cool if, in the video, you shared what your favorite reading of that video is and why! Keep it up!

  • Hey, Sarah Crookall. Can't choose a favourite one, Sadly, I am bad at poetry and are clueless about what it is Oscar Wilde tried to say. So here is my best guess. "The disciple" is about how a mirror just reflect the emotion of the person looking into the mirror. "The harlot's house" is about the circle of life: beeing born, growing up, getting kids, passing away. Got nothing on "The burden of itys", It seems to address some sort of feeling which I not very familiar with. I probably got them all wrong. Oscar Wilde wrote some great poems but sadly enough I don't know how to read them. They are filled with some many references. Either way, thanks for the great video, Sarah. Was fun to watch. 🙂

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