Clerihew: Oscar Wilde

Photographer: Napoleon Sarony

Oscar Wilde
Debauched and defiled;
His climactic perversion
Was a deathbed conversion.


  1. Matthew Lickona says

    You can’t tell, but that piece of paper he’s holding is from Korrektiv Press: “While we found your play ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ on the whole delightful, it remained a trifle…earnest for our Press. Thank you, and we hope you submit again should the mood strike you.”

    Also, best tagline poem ever.

    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

      You’re fantasizing about sending Wilde a rejection letter for The Importance of Being Earnest?

      Matthew Lickona just redefined ‘vanity press’.

      • Matthew Lickona says

        Why else would he look so sad? And why else would we reject him except for earnestness? And why else would he wait so long to convert?

  2. Imelda/Sophia, O.P. says

    The syntactical symmetry of the first clause is perfectly apt.

    Oscar Wilde may be read as both the subject and the object of the verb phrase, a bit of linguistic dexterity that would no doubt delight him immensely.

  3. Pretty brilliant little poem Angelico.

  4. ooh clerihews! any readers of Gilbert Magazine here?

    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

      Gilbert Keith
      Deserves a laurel wreath;
      Rather often, however,
      He was halfway too clever.

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