Wednesday, April 15, 2015

#npm15 -- Ozymandias

What would a National Poetry Month collection be without a few classics? The great and wonderful Bud suggested the sonnet Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley. And it does seem an appropriate choice, as we "look forward" to another political season.

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

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."

Sidenote: Every version of the poem I looked at had some variation in capitalization and punctuation -- all of which matter a great deal in poetry. Let's hope this is close to what Shelley had in mind. 

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