Le Jardin by Oscar Wilde
“Le Jardin” is a beautifully descriptive poem by poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, found in his poetry collection Poems. This poem transports the reader into a vividly depicted garden, experiencing the transition from life to decay. Wilde’s use of rich imagery portrays the garden’s transformation as the seasons change.
“Le Jardin” is a testament to Wilde’s ability to capture the ephemeral beauty of nature in his poetry. For those who wish to explore more of Wilde’s poetic works, you can read Poems online at PageVio.
1. The Poem
The lily’s withered chalice falls
Around its rod of dusty gold,
And from the beech-trees on the wold
The last wood-pigeon coos and calls.
The gaudy leonine sunflower
Hangs black and barren on its stalk,
And down the windy garden walk
The dead leaves scatter,—hour by hour.
Pale privet-petals white as milk
Are blown into a snowy mass:
The roses lie upon the grass
Like little shreds of crimson silk.
Size: 8″ x 12″ (2:3 ratio)
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Note: Actual poster background color is white. For the sample poster, the background is made gray for illustration purpose.
2. Le Jardin Analysis
“Le Jardin” paints a vivid picture of a garden in decline, symbolizing the end of a season, likely autumn, as it transitions into winter. The imagery used throughout the poem evokes a sense of fading beauty and the natural cycle of life and decay.
The opening lines describe a withered lily, its “chalice” (the part of the flower that holds the bloom) falling apart around its “rod of dusty gold” (the flower’s central part, possibly the stamen). This image sets the tone for the poem, suggesting the end of the blooming period and the onset of decay.
The mention of the “last wood-pigeon” cooing and calling from the beech trees adds to the sense of finality and quietness, as if nature itself is bidding farewell to the warmer months.
The “gaudy leonine sunflower,” once bright and sun-like, now hangs “black and barren,” a stark contrast to its former vibrant state. This further emphasizes the theme of decay and the end of a cycle.
The imagery of dead leaves scattering “down the windy garden walk, hour by hour” reinforces the passage of time and the inevitable change of seasons. It paints a picture of continuous, gradual decline.
The final stanza describes “pale privet-petals white as milk” being blown into a mass, and roses lying on the grass “like little shreds of crimson silk.” These images of scattered, disheveled flowers contrast their former beauty and structure, symbolizing the fragility and ephemeral nature of life.
The poem is a poignant reflection on the inevitable cycle of growth and decay in nature. It uses rich, evocative imagery to capture the melancholic beauty of a garden as it succumbs to the changing seasons, symbolizing broader themes of life, change, and the transient nature of beauty.
We hope you have fully immerse yourself in the captivating imagery of ‘Le Jardin’ by Oscar Wilde, where withered lilies, barren sunflowers, and scattered rose petals evoke a poignant, almost ethereal atmosphere. For more of Wilde’s evocative poetry, delve into our comprehensive list of Wilde’s poems.