Sunday, 16 December 2007

Poem of the Month - December

This month's poem of the month is Shelley's monumental sonnet against tyranny. In just 111 words the poet covers the subject of tyranny from A to Z. The poem composed in 1817 was relevant then, is relevant today and will be relevant so long as mankind inhabits the planet. It was first published under the pseudonym Glirastes (from Gliridae).
The dormouse (Gliridae) is a small climbing rodent of Eurasia and Africa which feeds on nuts, berries and seeds. There are 10 species. The best known the common dormouse hibernates in winter beneath debris and tree stumps, waking if hungry to feed on its store of food.


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.

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