3 June 2018

Ozymandias


Ozymandias


I met a traveller from an antique land,

Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal, these words appear:

"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.


by Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792 - 1822)

19 comments:

  1. That poem takes me back to my school days!

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    1. I hope the journey back was not too traumatic.

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  2. King or pauper we all end up the same. I like this.
    Briony
    x

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    1. You went straight to the nub of this poem Briony.

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  3. Ginger Alpaca calling once more.

    Thanks for that, YP. A good match for "The Lady of Shalott" (Tennyson). Some years ago, and I don't know what came over him, GG (gay guy) sent me a rendition of it, his own voice underlined to good sound effect with rain, thunder and lightning. To this day I can't peel and chop a shallot without thinking of him (on his psychiatrist's advice he dropped me without a backward glance). Give me an onion. If only as an excuse.

    U

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    1. I was vaguely aware that you have been a somewhat controversial presence in the blogosphere Ursula. I visited your Wordpress-hosted blog the other day but found commenting awkward due to registration/passwords etcetera. It was like trying to get into our local alpaca farm. I didn't realise that onions feature in the typical alpaca diet.

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    2. Unlike blogspot I thought wordpress makes it easy. I could do with some light relief of your kind. A kick in the shin will do.

      Onions? I believe it was Sartre in one of his more charitable and romantic moments who said (of woman) "Ca pleure comme ca pisse".

      He was onto something. There is a school of thought that believes the mind plays out via the body and vice versa. So when my father went down with bladder cancer (he has been clear for the last fifteen years) I told him he should have shed tears (water) more often in his life.

      U

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  4. I can no longer see that poem without thinking of the episode of Breaking Bad that was named for it. (I loved that show).

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    1. I have never watched a moment of "Breaking Bad" I am afraid Jennifer.

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  5. One of my favorite poems from high school English class! What prompted you to post it, YP?

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    1. What prompted me is rather embarrassing and very low brow. The poem was referred to in a TV quiz show called "Pointless".

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  6. When I read great works like this written so long ago, I often wonder what the author would think if he knew we are still reading his words this far into his future. Some things do last.

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    1. It's over 200 years since Shelley wrote this poem. He has gained a kind of immortality having died at the tender age of twenty nine.

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  7. Wonderful poem. It brings back memories of high school

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    1. Hello Helen. Thanks for calling by again. I never met this poem until I was in my thirties.

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  8. I wonder if they are poets around nowadays that will be remembered in years to come.........

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  9. A favorite of mine from high school days. It always makes me think of the line from Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”: “The paths of glory lead but to the grave.”

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    1. The sentiment is just the same.

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