A Wilde Magic Word Square

Below is Oscar Wilde's 'Sonnet on Approaching Italy', which is anagrammed in 2 stages:

First, it's anagrammed into a paraphrase dealing with Venice, with a certain additional constraint: the letters of the odd-numbered words in every three lines from line 2 onward comprise the words of a magic square.

Then, the paraphrase itself is anagrammed into the magic word square thus:

The initial letters (red), which could be read both horizontally and vertically, are placed into a grid;

Line 1 (blue) is anagrammed into an explanatory line;

The rest of the letters (black) are anagrammed into the definitions of these words, and also note their usages in Wilde's poems and prose.

Enjoy!

I reached the Alps: the soul within me burned,
Italia, my Italia, at thy name:
And when from out the mountain's heart I came
And saw the land for which my life had yearned,
I laughed as one who some great prize had earned:
And musing on the marvel of thy fame
I watched the day, till marked with wounds of flame
The turquoise sky to burnished gold was turned.
The pine-trees waved as waves a woman's hair,
And in the orchards every twining spray
Was breaking into flakes of blossoming foam:
But when I knew that far away at Rome
In evil bonds a second Peter lay,
I wept to see the land so very fair.

=

I quiver as I find the coast's fine gem:
Sweet Venice, which fills eyes with awe and tears,
A wealth of honoured beauty from which stem
Main works of art that many would hold dear.
When stars in heaven light a day's dim end
I pause to praise San Marco's dreamy view;
To Pala D'Oro I then my way wend -
Earth's most loved piece lures, and endures as new.
And while I gaze beneath one pure, round moon
I halt, my breath weak so that I may hear
A fine draft that emerged to play a tune,
And nearby ballad by a gondolier...
I'm drawn to fume and suffer when I think
That what evokes a night of thrills might sink!

=

S

W

E

A

T

W

I

L

D

E

E

L

L

E

N

A

D

E

P

T

T

E

N

T

S

The Magic Square's five definitions:

  1. A salty fluid; viewed in that final 'Humanitad' stanza where it "falls from our brows like rain".
  2. A word in English, though outdated, which meant 'savage'; a bard.
  3. A name; a few rhymes by Wilde (like 'Camma') were dedicated to a famous thespian (surname: Terry) who was named that.
  4. A man or a woman who have honed handy knowhow in everyday work; used in 'The Decay of Lying' where one (Mr. Payn) is reputed to be that in the key art of hiding.
  5. A group of vast, portable shelters; rooted by the merchants' menials in 'The Fisherman and His Soul'.

Updated: May 10, 2016


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