Relationship Advice From Ireland’s Wilde Man

Feb 15, 2014 by

“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.”   Oscar Wilde


Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, playwright and poet, was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1854.  Despite the wide popularity of his plays such as The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) and his witticisms, Wilde was vilified by the Victorian press and critics for his flamboyant dress and behavior,  particularly for his homosexual liaisons, which ultimately caused him to be imprisoned  for two years for “gross indecency”.    After his release in 1897, Wilde left for France, where he died alone and impoverished at the age of 46.  He is buried in Paris.



This romantic painting is known as The Meeting on the Turret Stairs, by Sir Frederic William Burton (1816-1900), an Irish painter born in County Clare and a contemporary of Oscar Wilde.   In 2012, The Meeting on the Turret Stairs was voted by the Irish public as Ireland’s favorite painting, from among ten works shortlisted by critics.


Here are some more memorable pieces of advice and quotes from Oscar Wilde:

  • “The very essence of romance is uncertainty.”
  • “Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.”
  • “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
  • “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” from Lady Windermere’s Fan
  • “Yet each man kills the thing he loves
    By each let this be heard
    Some do it with a bitter look
    Some with a flattering word
    The coward does it with a kiss
    The brave man with a sword” from The Ballad of Reading Gaol
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Remembering the Dropping Peace of William Butler Yeats

Jan 28, 2014 by

75 years ago today, on January 28, 1939, one of Ireland’s greatest poets died in France.  William Butler Yeats was a prolific writer, a founder of both the Irish Literary Revival  and the Abbey Theatre ( in Irish Gaelic, Amharclann na Mainistreach, the National Theatre of Ireland), an Irish senator and a Nobel Prize winner in literature, the first Irishman to win the elite honor.


Yeats was born in Dublin, but spent many years in beautiful County Sligo, in the west of Ireland.  One of his most famous  lyric poems, The Lake Isle of Innisfree, written in 1888, is set in Sligo, on an uninhabited island in Lough Gill:

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.


The utopian world of the poem is just an illusion, of course, and Yeats himself was far less fanciful in the poetry of his later years, knowing even he “must lie down where all the ladders start/In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.”    (from  The Circus Animal’s Desertion, William Butler Yeats, 1939)


I still love his poetry, though, as do many people around the world.   Sometimes, what we need most in the cold reality of daily life is that Yeatsian fantasy of a gentle Celtic beauty patiently awaiting us in the west.

For that small bit of dropping peace, Mr Yeats, we are humbly grateful.


Click HERE to listen to Yeats’ reading of  The Lake Isle of Innisfree and  HERE for his explanation of how the poem came to be written.

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Happy Birthday, Oscar Wilde

Oct 16, 2013 by

Irish Writer and Poet Oscar Wilde

Irish Writer and Poet Oscar Wilde

Happy Birthday to one of my favorite writers, Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, born on this day in 1854, in Dublin, Ireland.

Wilde was the the second of three children born to Sir William Wilde and Jane Francesca Wilde, two years behind William (“Willie”). Jane Wilde, under the pseudonym “Speranza” (the Italian word for ‘Hope’), wrote poetry for the revolutionary Young Irelanders in 1848 and was a lifelong Irish nationalist. William Wilde was Ireland’s leading oto-ophthalmologic (ear and eye) surgeon and was knighted in 1864 for his services as medical adviser and assistant commissioner to the censuses of Ireland. He also wrote books about Irish archaeology and peasant folklore and was a renowned philanthropist to Dublin’s poorer citizens.

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