Friday, May 19, 2006

Ozymandias - Percy Bysshe Shelley

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, 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 upon 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.

6 comments:

Indie said...

Are you trying to forcibly raise the intellectual qotient of the internet? Because this can only end in tears.

That having been said, I can see I'm going to have to do my further reading on this one. I'll have my book report in by the end of the week.



Okay, I'm probably lying, but it feels good to say.

The Angry Stereotype said...

On my desk by monday, or you're out of my class.

Indeh said...

I have a tendency to make purely phenomenological responses to works, then to back them up later with more structuralist based discursive analysis. I can't help but think that this poem is indicative of inner crisis, the difficulty that creative indidividuals feel upon finding their desire to make their mark upon the world more difficult than they had first supposed.

It smacks of self-doubt, and the imagery, dry, distant, othered and far removed from the reader (we are not even invited to view this spectacle for ourselves, we are forced to rely on a secondhand account of a traveller's words), gives a sense isolation that may or may not actually be caused by the ' experimental music' coming over my speakers. Still, the image of an (assumedly allegorical*) civilization whose divine leaders overestemated his longevity and that of his empire speaks to me a feeling of desolation, the artist's realization at the seemingly enormous scale of his dreams, one insignificant creature and his scratchings on a piece of paper, attempting to mark the page of time itself.

I bet that if he were alive today, he'd be thankful for the internet.

If he didn't go into shock and die immediately upon seeing what people these days are wearing, driving, eating, saying, doing, etc...

Also, some people who know more about poetry than I came up with a better, albeit wordier and more specific analysis. You've probably already found this link so I'd merely like to draw your attention to the horrible choice of colour in this page. The red on green, while a visually sound choice, makes it unbelievably crap to read. Yep, it sure does make my eyes sting.

Anyhow, I hope all is right with your world, and that my hip-hop book-report will not suffer from lack of correct citation, or reference of any kind, or from its lamentable absence of any real content.

In other news, download Buck 65's new mixtape, Strong Arm while it's free, and before his record label catches him.

The Angry Stereotype said...

Interesting. I wouldn't have seen the undertones of isolation or despair so much as I saw it as a more satirical look at the nature of humanity itself. To be specific, I find the poem addresses the fact that no matter how great or monumental we may be, or may simply believe ourselves to be, in the end, our greatest, most unforgettable actions are insignificant in the eyes of the universe, and we will eventually be forgotten, no matter how we try to aggrandize and immortalize ourselves.

Indeh said...

Except somethingawful. I get the feeling not even nuclear fallout and mutant cockroaches would cleanse the earth of the goons.

The Angry Stereotype said...

And that is a good thing, for we shall repopulate the earth and make it better.