Arthur Symons spend a lot of time studying works of others. This lead to the publication of a collection of poems inspired by great names such as Charles Baudelaire and Paul Verlaine. The poem Kisses describes the feeling to express the feeling of kissing.

Arthur Symons
Arthur Symons
Image source: Wikipedia

About the poet

Arthur William Symons was born on February 28 1865 in Milford Haven in Wales. He started writing and publishing in 1884. He edited works inspired or written by Shakespeare. In 1891 he was appointed as staff member of the Athenaeum, a London based literary magazine (1828 – 1921). He was also appointed as staff member of the Saturday Review – a newspaper – in 1894.

His first own publication dates back to 1889, Days and nights. This immediately reminded people of other poets, such as Charles Baudelaire and Paul Verlaine. The time Symons spend in France during his childhood, fed the love for French poetry.


Symons himself would be of great influence for others: William Butler Yeats and T.S. Eliot. He made others rise to fame when he worked together with Aubrey Beardsley and Leonard Smithers for The Savoy – a literary magazine that was published in eight numbers between January and December 1896. Amongst the contributors were W.B. Yeats, Max Beerbohm, Joseph Conrad and William Thomas Horton. The magazine not only wrote or published poems. Art in general was given a platform.

As from 1902, Symons translated more poems and published more of his work.


By Arthur Symons

Sweet, can I sing you the song of your kisses?
How soft is this one, how subtle this is,
How fluttering swift as a bird’s kiss that is,
As a bird that taps at a leafy lattice;
How this one clings and how that uncloses
From bud to flower in the way of roses;
And this through laughter and that through weeping
Swims to the brim where Love lies sleeping;
And this in a pout I snatch, and capture
That in the ecstasy of rapture,
When the odorous red-rose petals part
That my lips may find their way to the heart
Of the rose of the world, your lips, my rose.
But no song knows
The way of my heart to the heart of my rose.
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