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Oscar Wilde's 'Impressions du Matin' and Matthew Arnold's 'West London'
Posted by: Amber_lou (62.56.100.---)
Date: February 12, 2009 05:31PM

Could anyone give me any information on these two poems please?

Many thanks, x


Re: Oscar Wilde's 'Impressions du Matin' and Matthew Arnold's 'West London'
Posted by: Amber_lou (86.166.41.---)
Date: February 16, 2009 11:18AM

Anyone have any idea as the the political meaning behind the poem and what the woman in each might represent?

Thanks x


Re: Oscar Wilde's 'Impressions du Matin' and Matthew Arnold's 'West London'
Posted by: IanAKB (58.164.98.---)
Date: March 04, 2009 03:50AM

Impression du matin
by Oscar Wilde

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.


West London
by Matthew Arnold

Crouch'd on the pavement close by Belgrave Square
A tramp I saw, ill, moody, and tongue-tied;
A babe was in her arms, and at her side
A girl; their clothes were rags, their feet were bare.
Some labouring men, whose work lay somewhere there,
Pass'd opposite; she touch'd her girl, who hied
Across, and begg'd and came back satisfied.
The rich she had let pass with frozen stare.
Thought I: Above her state this spirit towers;
She will not ask of aliens, but of friends,
Of sharers in a common human fate.
She turns from that cold succour, which attends
The unknown little from the unknowing great,
And points us to a better time than ours.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/2009 04:18AM by IanAKB.


Re: Oscar Wilde's 'Impressions du Matin' and Matthew Arnold's 'West London'
Posted by: IanAKB (124.181.18.---)
Date: March 04, 2009 04:40AM

Wilde's poem is an urban landscape study (the French title means 'Impression of the Morning'). I can't attribute any political meaning to it. I wouldn't know whether it was imagined or something he actually saw. The woman with "lips of flame and heart of stone" is presumably some hardened woman of the night (i.e. a prostitute) who, unlike the bird, takes no joy from night giving way to day.

The woman in the Arnold poem is destitute and uses her daughter to beg for her, but does not expect to receive any help from the rich. She looks to the labouring classes for help. They are the ones who understand her need. If you must find a political meaning, it seems to be something like this: there are very poor people in parts of London; any charity to them from the rich is petty and "cold" because the rich don't want to know about them; however the poor people do help each other; and their attitude shows us how our society could and should be ("a better time than ours").

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/2009 04:44AM by IanAKB.


Re: Oscar Wilde's 'Impressions du Matin' and Matthew Arnold's 'West London'
Posted by: Amber_lou (62.56.120.---)
Date: March 04, 2009 12:25PM

Thats great thankyou very much for your help x


Re: Oscar Wilde's 'Impressions du Matin' and Matthew Arnold's 'West London'
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Date: September 19, 2011 06:48PM

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