POETRY FORMAT, 17 Apr 2017

Percy Bysshe Shelley – TRANSCEND Media Service

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.”

Source: Shelley’s Poetry and Prose (1977)

Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the major English Romantic poets, and is regarded by some as among the finest lyric, as well as most influential, poets in the English language. Wikipedia


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One Response to “Ozymandias”

  1. Gary Corseri. says:

    A good poem for all to remember. It bears on human vanity and folly. Unlike too many contemporary poets, Shelley knew his craft: so, here’s a fine metrical sonnet of 14 lines–and it even rhymes!

    Shelley was not just one of the “Romantics.” Though born into wealth and privilege, he was considered a Revolutionary, hung out with apostates like Leigh Hunt and Lord Byron (another “traitor to his class”!)

    My favorite aspect of the Shelley legend (he died at 30, drowned off the coast of Italy)–my favorite aspect is actually his wife, Mary Shelley, in some ways even more radical than Percy B. The daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, a writer and philosopher and one of the world’s first great feminists! Mary Shelley is probably best known for authoring “Frankenstein”!