Prompt 11- Literary Idols – Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde in New York

Oscar Wilde in New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard.
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word.
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
(from The Ballad of Reading Gaol)


We kill the truth before it speaks
In jest it hides in vain
Society is crueller still
In ways we cannot name
And brilliance is no true reward
Instead it takes the blame

Dear Oscar’s difference from the start
Man born before his time
Would better live in modern age
Embrace him in his prime
And ask of him for his true love
No reason, cause nor rhyme

Our cruel response to what’s unique
Is shame upon our kind
In loss he’s wreathed, his beauteous words
Still linger, and remind
Such bitter loss injustice gives
For those we leave behind

In Reading Gaol he spent his days
Still writing of his world
And from society’s embrace
He cruelly was thus hurled
Before the flags of his own kind
Could ever be unfurled

I fond believe was Oscar born
In this more open day and age
Then ever more of brilliant work
We’d see upon our stage
Instead our loss is written cold
In history’s shameful page.

(c) Helen Valentina 2013, All Rights Reserved

For mindlovemisery’s prompt on literary idols – see

I could only choose the incomparable Oscar Wilde and wrote an ode to both him and in the form/as an homage to one of his most famous and heartbreaking poems.

About Helen

I'm drawn to blogging as a way to share ideas and consider what makes us who we are. Whether it's in our working life or our creativity, expression is a means to connect.
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20 Responses to Prompt 11- Literary Idols – Oscar Wilde

  1. Ahh! Great minds 🙂 I was toying around with this very piece. Oscar Wilde is one of my favorites.

    Now since you’ve gone and written such a wonderful ode to him I’m going to change gears and try my hand at something else.

  2. I love Oscar Wilde first of all his plays are fantastically funny and The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my favorite books =) This is brilliant work Helen, love it absolutely love it

  3. kabirgandhiok says:

    Wow! That’s all I have to say… 🙂

  4. annotating60 says:

    Always love ‘the’ Oscar. You did well by him.>KB

  5. You are reaching for my heart!

  6. heidi says:

    Lovely tribute. It made me think about the Stonewall Riots, as well.

  7. Cubby says:

    Loved this! Like music to my mind. 🙂

  8. You have brilliantly spoken of Oscar. Kudos!

  9. 1WriteWay says:

    Truly wonderful, Helen. Wilde was a man outside his time.

  10. SSMatthews says:

    This is extraordinary Helen. Love it!

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