Handwritten Oscar Wilde poem “Heart's Yearnings” sells at auction for $104,000


Oscar Wilde, the most famous victim of the Victorian values he relentlessly pilloried, still exerts a worldwide fascination.

This week a handwritten poem by the Irish poet, wit and dramatist sold for over four times its estimate at auction, fetching $104,000.

The poem, 'Heart's Yearnings,' one of the earliest written by Wilde, shows a young man straining to make the kind of unforgettable impression he would later make effortlessly.

According to the Irish Independent, the poem was written in Ireland in 1873 and it has become one of the most valuable poems ever written by an Irishman, according to the auctioneers Bonhams in London, who said the copy was sold to someone living in the UK.

The poem begins: 'Surely to me the world is all too drear/ To shape my sorrow to a tuneful strain/ It is enough for wearied ears to hear/ The Passion – Music of a fevered brain…'

Another Wilde poem, Les Ballons, written in the early 1880s, reached its upper pre-sale estimate by going under the hammer for $24,990.