Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Oscar Wilde's Impression du Matin

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 St. Paul's  
Loomed like a bubble o'er the town.  
Then suddenly arose the clang  
  Of waking life; the streets were stirred
  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

Impressions? Interpretations? References?


tillerman said...

The pale woman with wan hair, lips of flame and heart of stone sounds like Callista Gingrich, but I don't think she's quite old enough to have known Oscar Wilde.

Anonymous said...

she's a hooker, she's got to be

tillerman said...

That's a harsh thing to say about the woman who might be the next First Lady of the United States.

Silverbird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Docker said...

A little disturbing.

Some interesting parallels with the Masefield poem - contrast in tone between the romantic images of the first three verses and the harsh picture in the last.

Nice use of color and sound - the saturated colors of the city at night are fading to the greys of a foggy dawn. But, as the city comes to life, has the street woman died in the night?

O Docker said...

I promised myself I wouldn't read anything about this poem before posting a first impression.

But, now that I have, I see that the 'nocturne in blue and gold' refers to something very specific, as a denizen of the Tate might well know.