Wilde’s Battle of Reading Gaol

Hands behind bars

Another great poetry must read includes Oscar Wilde‘s The Ballad of Reading Gaol

In a thoughtful commentary on life – written after his own incarceration – Wilde reflects upon: life’s antecedents, life’s consequences, and the corruption of human nature by sin. While holding onto hope of an eventual salvation: Wilde penetratingly records the fears and terrors of the inmate – and h0w death can offer even the most heinous criminal final absolution.

Using penal life as his canvass, Wilde’s pen takes wing:

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!

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