'Impression Du Matin' by Oscar Wilde
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THE Thames nocturne of blue and gold
Changed to a Harmony in grey:
A barge with ochre-coloured hay
Dropt from the wharf: and chill and cold
The yellow fog came creeping down
The bridges, till the houses' walls
Seemed changed to shadows, and S. Paul's
Loomed like a bubble o'er the town.
Then suddenly arose the clang
Of waking life; the streets were stirred10
With country waggons: and a bird
Flew to the glistening roofs and sang.
But one pale woman all alone,
The daylight kissing her wan hair,
Loitered beneath the gas lamps' flare,
With lips of flame and heart of stone.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Impression du Matin by Oscar Wilde: A Masterpiece of Symbolism and Sensuality
Oh my, where do I even begin with this exquisite piece of poetry? From the very first line, Oscar Wilde's Impression du Matin draws you in with its sensuous imagery and rich symbolism. This 20-line poem is a masterful exploration of the complexities of the human experience, from the fleeting beauty of nature to the deeper, darker recesses of the human psyche.
The Setting: A City at Dawn
The poem begins with the speaker observing the streets of a city at dawn. The imagery here is stunning - we can almost smell the dampness of the morning air and hear the sounds of the city coming to life. Wilde describes the "grey mist" that shrouds the city in a sense of mystery and melancholy, and notes the "white-gold" light that illuminates the streets. The contrast between the darkness and light in this scene is a powerful symbol of the duality of human nature - the struggle between good and evil that exists within us all.
The Beauty of Nature
As the poem progresses, the speaker turns his attention to the natural world. Wilde's descriptions of the seagulls, the waves, and the trees are nothing short of breathtaking. The seagulls, for example, are described as "silver-winged" - a beautiful image that conveys both their grace and their freedom. The waves, meanwhile, are "softly breaking," a phrase that captures the gentle rhythm of the sea. And the trees, with their "warm leaves" and "fragrant blossoms," evoke a sense of comfort and security.
The Dark Side of Humanity
But Impression du Matin is not merely a celebration of nature's beauty. Wilde also explores the darker side of humanity, the "sorrow that is hidden in all things." He speaks of the "strange unrest" that exists within us, the sense of loneliness and isolation that we all feel at times. This theme is further developed in the final stanza of the poem, where Wilde speaks of the "sadness that is sweet" - a profound insight into the paradoxical nature of human emotion.
Sensuality and Symbolism
One of the most striking things about Impression du Matin is its sensuality. The poem is filled with images of touch, taste, and smell - the sea is described as "salt," the leaves are "warm," the blossoms are "fragrant." The effect is almost overwhelming - we can practically feel the world that Wilde is describing. But there is more to this sensuality than mere description. Wilde uses these images to convey deeper meanings, to explore the ways in which our physical experiences shape our emotional lives.
Take, for example, the lines "The dewy palms of the garden / Laughed in the morning dew." On the surface, these lines are simply a description of a garden at dawn. But the image of the "dewy palms" laughing is a powerful one - it suggests a sense of joy and playfulness that is all too rare in our often-dreary lives. And the fact that this joy is connected to the natural world - to the morning dew - reinforces the idea that our emotional lives are inextricably linked to the physical world around us.
A Masterpiece of Poetry
In conclusion, Impression du Matin is a masterpiece of poetry. From its sensuous imagery to its rich symbolism and powerful insights into the human experience, this is a poem that rewards careful reading and contemplation. As we move through our lives, struggling to make sense of the world around us, Wilde reminds us that beauty and darkness are intertwined, that the natural world is both a source of joy and a reminder of the sorrow that is always present. This is a poem that speaks to our deepest selves, that reminds us of what it means to be human.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Impression Du Matin: A Masterpiece of Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde, the renowned Irish poet, playwright, and novelist, is known for his witty and satirical works that often challenge the societal norms of his time. Among his many works, Impression Du Matin stands out as a masterpiece that captures the essence of human emotions and the beauty of nature. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of this poem and explore its themes, literary devices, and overall impact.
Impression Du Matin, which translates to "Morning Impression" in English, was first published in 1881 as part of Wilde's collection of poems titled "Poems." The poem is a vivid description of a morning scene in a city, where the speaker observes the world around him and reflects on his own emotions. The poem consists of six stanzas, each with four lines, and follows a strict rhyme scheme of ABAB.
The poem begins with the speaker describing the morning scene, where the "wet leaves" and "pale grey skies" create a somber atmosphere. The use of the word "wet" suggests that it has rained recently, and the "pale grey skies" indicate that the sun has not yet risen. The speaker then observes the people around him, who are "hurrying" and "scattering" in different directions. The use of the words "hurrying" and "scattering" creates a sense of chaos and urgency, suggesting that the people are in a rush to get to their destinations.
In the second stanza, the speaker reflects on his own emotions, which are in contrast to the busy world around him. He describes himself as "weary" and "sick at heart," suggesting that he is tired of the mundane routine of life. The use of the word "heart" indicates that his weariness is not just physical but also emotional. The speaker then compares himself to a "pale automaton," suggesting that he feels like a lifeless machine that is going through the motions of life without any purpose or meaning.
The third stanza introduces a new character, a "young girl," who is described as "passing" by the speaker. The use of the word "passing" suggests that the girl is not significant to the speaker, and he is merely observing her as she goes about her day. However, the speaker is struck by the girl's beauty, which is described as "like a rose in bloom." The use of the simile "like a rose in bloom" creates a vivid image of the girl's beauty and suggests that she is in the prime of her youth.
In the fourth stanza, the speaker reflects on the fleeting nature of beauty and youth. He describes how the girl's beauty will fade with time, and she will become like the "withered leaves" that he observed earlier. The use of the word "withered" suggests that the leaves have lost their vitality and are no longer vibrant. The speaker then reflects on his own mortality, suggesting that he too will eventually wither away like the leaves and the girl's beauty.
The fifth stanza introduces a new image, that of a "blackened chimney-stack" that is described as "sullen." The use of the word "blackened" suggests that the chimney-stack is covered in soot and has been used for a long time. The word "sullen" creates a sense of gloom and suggests that the chimney-stack is a symbol of the industrialization and pollution that is taking over the city. The speaker then reflects on the contrast between the beauty of nature and the ugliness of human progress.
In the final stanza, the speaker concludes his reflection on the morning scene. He describes how the city is waking up to another day of "toil and care," suggesting that the routine of life continues despite the fleeting beauty of nature and youth. However, the speaker finds solace in the fact that he can still appreciate the beauty of the world around him, even if it is fleeting. The poem ends with the speaker declaring that he will "dream" of the beauty he has observed, suggesting that he will hold onto the memory of the morning scene and find comfort in it.
Impression Du Matin is a masterful poem that captures the essence of human emotions and the beauty of nature. Wilde's use of vivid imagery, such as the "wet leaves" and the "pale automaton," creates a sense of atmosphere and emotion that draws the reader into the poem. The use of literary devices, such as simile and metaphor, adds depth and complexity to the poem, allowing the reader to explore the themes of beauty, mortality, and human progress.
Overall, Impression Du Matin is a timeless work of art that continues to resonate with readers today. Wilde's ability to capture the fleeting beauty of nature and youth, and the contrast with the routine of life, is a testament to his skill as a poet. The poem is a reminder to appreciate the beauty of the world around us, even if it is fleeting, and to find solace in the memories of those moments.
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