Oscar Wilde



Keats' Sonnet on Blue




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DURING my tour in America I happened one evening to find myself in Louisville, Kentucky. The subject I had selected to speak on was the Mission of Art in the Nineteenth Century, and in the course of my lecture I had occasion to quote Keats' Sonnet on Blue as an example of the poet's delicate sense of colour-harmonies. When my lecture was concluded there came round to see me a lady of middle age, with a sweet gentle manner and a most musical voice. She introduced herself to me as Mrs. Speed, the daughter of George Keats, and invited me to come and examine the Keats manuscripts in her possession. I spent most of the next day with her, reading the letters of Keats to her father, some of which were at that time unpublished, poring over torn yellow leaves and faded scraps of paper, and wondering at the little Dante in which Keats had written those marvellous notes on Milton. Some months afterwards when I was in California I received a letter from Mrs. Speed asking my acceptance of the original manuscript of the sonnet which I had quoted in my lecture. This manuscript I have had reproduced here, as it seems to me to possess much psychological interest. It shows us the conditions that preceded the perfected form, the gradual growth, not of the conception but of the expression, and the workings of that spirit of selection which is the secret of style. In the case of poetry, as in the case of the other arts, what may appear to be simply technicalities [84] of method are in their essence spiritual, not mechanical, and although, in all lovely work, what concerns us is the ultimate form, not the conditions that necessitate that form, yet the preference that precedes perfection, the evolution of the beauty, and the mere making of the music, have, if not their artistic value, at least their value to the artist.





Erstdruck und Druckvorlage

The Century Guild Hobby Horse.
Bd. 1, 1886, Nr. 3, Juli, S. 83-86.

Unser Auszug: S. 83-84.

Gezeichnet: 0SCAR WILDE.

Die Textwiedergabe erfolgt nach dem ersten Druck (Editionsrichtlinien).

The Century Guild Hobby Horse   online
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/012224071
URL: https://archive.org/advancedsearch.php








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Lyriktheorie » R. Brandmeyer