At school long ago now I had a passion for poetry .Must say it never left me. I used to hide under the bed sheets with a torch reading Percy Shelley and Byron. . Romantics both of them but somehow they excited me. Opened my mind to English not just as a means of passage but a great interlectual briefing into lifes true meaning.
This short reading brought me beyond the boundary of enjoyment in the way this poem was thought out and written but into the mind of the man himself. As I saw it aged 15. It must be said not much has changed since. I re read this same said piece not long ago. I now at your pleasure set this poem before you. Many will know of it and comments therefore be accepted.
I met a traveler 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,
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive,stamped on those 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 at my works ,ye mighty ,and despair !’
Nothing besides remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck ,boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away”
That ends Shelley, great and visionary poem.
I must have delved deeply into those words as a boy.As the power of his words is endless. The three narrators in just a few sentences convey a massage .Firstly the voice of Shelley next the traveler from a far off land .Next and last the words of the dead king.
A story of amazing quality and adventure in so short a work is a genius mind at work in fact.
So summing it up the meaning meant is death finishes all earthly power. But more it must mock the foolish King in some way one thinks.
The fact that Shelly says nothing about where he met this traveler from an antique land .He could have been on an oxford lane at that time. Then the clue must be in the name.Ozymandias I found is ancient Greek .It means in English a tyrant. So that was Shelleys mind he wrote about a tyrant. He was in Greece not Oxford at that time. The poem is deeper than just words it is about Byron in small part who always bettered him.
It is about life experience and death . A real tyrant who ruled with iron fist and thought himself a mighty immortal.
It is perhaps a lesson to us all .Percy Bysshe Shelley died in 1822 racing boats against Byrons faster craft .He pushed his boat harder than it could hold and mistake made with sail took the boat over .Shelley was a good swimmer but he may have been drinking and the tide was hard against him .He drown and Byron waited only hours before giving his friend a Viking funeral and burned him to ash on the beach. He was 29 years of age
.In his old college in Oxford halls they carved him in stone but alas made him look like a fish to me when I looked at most days . Said to be the sea wrapped around him with weeds and signs of drowning .Still looked fish like to me and an insult to one of our greatest poets ever .If he had but lived Byron would have been left in the shade. Percy Shelley had a mind that was well advanced of his time. His wife died in 1898 and never forgot him. She wrote Frankenstein perhaps with some help from Percy and Bryon but the basic idea was hers alone.
Thank you for reading my works . Yours with kind thoughts Sir Kevin.
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