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The Ballad of Reading Gaol (Journeyman…
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The Ballad of Reading Gaol (Journeyman Chapbook, No. 1) (original 1898; edition 1978)

by Oscar Wilde, Frans Masereel

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5341030,275 (4.13)26
Large format for easy reading. Perhaps the most famous poem from the famous dramatist, novelist and poet of the Victorian Era. A celebrity of his time and still renowned for his barbed wit.
Member:jburlinson
Title:The Ballad of Reading Gaol (Journeyman Chapbook, No. 1)
Authors:Oscar Wilde
Other authors:Frans Masereel
Info:Journeyman Pr (1978), Paperback, 64 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Chapbook, Illuminated poetry, Irishters

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The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde (Author) (1898)

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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
What a beautiful poem. This is not a genre I read much, but I chose it to stretch me a little in my reading this year. The poem begs to be read out loud, and the repetitive structure provides an interesting frame for the changing focus of the ballad. I found it meaningful and beautiful, though it focuses on difficult subject matter. It's easy to see why this is considered a classic. ( )
  duchessjlh | Dec 29, 2018 |

"No need to waste the foolish tear,
Or heave the windy sigh:
The man had killed the thing he loved,
And so he had to die.

And all men kill the thing they love,
By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word...
( )
  iSatyajeet | Nov 21, 2018 |

"No need to waste the foolish tear,
Or heave the windy sigh:
The man had killed the thing he loved,
And so he had to die.

And all men kill the thing they love,
By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word...
( )
  iSatyajeet | Nov 21, 2018 |
What a beautiful poem. written after his release from reading gaol, where he witnessed a hanging, which had a profound effect on him. ( )
1 vote kasyapa | Oct 9, 2017 |
It was really, really good though. Five stars good. I almost cried. I don't have a whole lot else to say about it. Apparently Reading was specifically designed to implement the separate system, so I expect Wilde probably experienced it.

Bosie's testimony is what sent him to Reading in the first place, so... the obvious interpretation is a combination of that, and maybe whatever was wrong with their relationship in the other direction that led Bosie to do that. It's possible that being in Reading under those circumstances and witnessing an execution like the one described in the poem (which he did, the poem was inspired by an execution that happened while he was there), could have combined by resonating so strongly with each other to make him feel that he was seeing a great universal truth of some kind. ( )
1 vote jhudsui | Sep 1, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wilde, OscarAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gay, ZhenyaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rascoe, BurtonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rascoe, BurtonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vassos, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In memoriam C. T. W. Sometime Trooper of the Royal Horse Guards. Obiit H. M. Prison, Reading, Berkshire, July 7, 1896.
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Vile deeds like poison weeds bloom well in prison air, it is only what is good in man, that wastes and withers there.
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