Sunday, 18 May 2014

Impressions of Dorian Gray

A theme of Dorian Gray had me stumped for a while, then I thought, why not write about being stumped about Dorian Gray and finding something out about the book? Written 11 December 2013.

Impressions of Dorian Gray

When I heard the theme of this Dead Poets’ show
I thought “Here’s a subject I don’t really know.”
My knowledge of lit’rature’s lit’rally scant –
Perhaps I could give it a different slant.

There’s always the fall-back: TV that I’ve seen.
I seemed to remember a Dorian Green –
Promiscuous cougar who lived Chigwell way?
But try as I might: couldn’t picture her grey.

Not “Birds of a Feather”, then. Where should I look?
I thought, “In the loft. We just might own the book.”
I found it and started to read, reconciled.
You don’t need an Oscar to know that it’s Wilde.

An artist who’s smitten, Sir Henry – a friend
Who spouts without doubting, who talks without end,
Who thinks that his views should be taken as fact.
Yet some, though not all, we may care to extract.

Consider Sir Henry’s ideas set today:
How Z-List celebrities preen as they say,
“Don’t think paparazzi are much of a curse –
Not being talked about’s something that’s worse.”

And then there is Dorian – bit of a wimp –
(Not much of a book if he looked like a chimp)
Who jealously envies his portrait in oils
Predicting a time when he ages and spoils.

My gran had a saying – I’ll paraphrase here –
“What they want is someone to wee in their ear!”
Wake up. Do not fixate on trivial things
As many do now; much worse waits in the wings.

I’ve only read some, but I will persevere.
The prose is descriptive; the characters “queer”.
Forget daytime telly, there’s plenty to do:
My cache in the attic has other books, too.