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The Works of Algernon Charles Swinburne

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  118 ratings  ·  8 reviews
This volume comprises a selection of the poetic works of Swinburne. Castigated by his contemporaries for his treatment of moral, spiritual and political rebellion, and his sometimes sadistic and blasphemous subject matter, his poetry is imaginative through both classical and romantic traditions.
Paperback, Wordsworth Poetry Library, 368 pages
Published December 1st 1999 by Wordsworth Editions Ltd (first published January 1st 1925)
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I think there is a reason why I never read more Swinburne poetry than I did while in college and getting my Master’s. It’s not the poetry is bad. It isn’t, but if you compare it to the Brownings, to Donne, to Marlowe, to Chaucer, and so on, it doesn’t quite match them.
Well, most of his poetry doesn’t. Swinburne’s take on the Tristan and Iseult legend, “Tristram of Lynonesse” should be read by any lover of the Arthurian myth.

“And their four lips became one burning mouth.”

And while Swinburne is
Marilyn Moreau
Mesmerizing, hypnotic poetry. Let nothing stand in your way of obtaining the version illustrated by Harry Clarke.
Dec 20, 2007 Xio rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
So, I'm online at work researching the topic 'erotic spanking' (!) and Wikipedia tells me that not only was Rousseau a fan but this Swinburne wrote extensively on the topic of erotic anguish/torture, etc. So, distracted, I plug the name into a search engine and set to reading between taking orders for porn and chatting with coworkers and lo and behold I am hooked:


Nay, but this god hath cause enow to smite:
If he will slay me, baring breast and throat,
I lean toward the stroke with silent
Like most anthologies, I liked a small subset of the poems.

My favorite is "Dolores". The theme -- where the whore is praised -- is not novel, but I love the execution. Swinburne contemplates love and lust -- explores the positives of the "body" side of this mind-body duality. The poem reads like a hymn to lust and bodily pleasure. While worshiping Dolores, the courtesan, Swinburne labels her "Our Lady of Pain", possibly seeing that she is only half the story. Yet, he knows she's important and c
Bryn Hammond
I love Swinburne. I memorised most of 'Anactoria', 300 lines of Sappho being sadistic and blasphemous:

Cruel? But love makes that all that love him well
As wise as heaven and crueller than hell.
Me hath love made more bitter towards thee
Than death towards man; but were I made as he
Who hath made all things to break them one by one,
If my feet trod upon the stars and sun
And souls of men as his have always trod,
God knows I might be crueller than God.

After that I loved his 'Hymn to Proserpine', spoken
Patrick Gibson
For always thee the fervid languid glories
Allured of heavier suns in mightier skies;
Thine ears knew all the wandering watery sighs
Where the sea sobs round Lesbian promontories,
The barren kiss of piteous wave to wave
That knows not where is that Leucadian grave
Which hides too deep the supreme head of song.
Ah, salt and sterile as her kisses were,
The wild sea winds her and the green gulfs bear
Hither and thither, and vex and work her wrong,
Blind gods that cannot spare.
Ah Algernon, a poet's poet. This guy was so into himself and his talent that he would walk into pubs and read his stuff to whomever would listen. Victorian craftsmanship at its most fulsome. The imagery in "The Forsaken Garden" is some of the most haunting in all of poetry. Everything is just so, and crafted to a T, and it all rhymes. It's so unfashionable that it just might be ready for a comeback. -EG
Scott Cooperstein
Swinburne is a master of rhyming poetry. But, like most poetry, not every piece in this collection is lovable. However, the thought that this man wrote "A Match," quite possibly the greatest short form poem I've ever read, is enough to make me fall in love. My god.
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Algernon Charles Swinburne was an English poet, controversial in his own day. He invented the roundel form, wrote some novels, and contributed to the famous Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
More about Algernon Charles Swinburne...
Poems and Ballads and Atalanta in Calydon Major Poems and Selected Prose Poems and Ballads The Garden of Proserpine Songs Before Sunrise

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