Percy Bysshe Shelley

(1792-1822 / Horsham / England)

Ozymandias


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,
........................
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Form: Sonnet

# 49 poem on top 500 Poems


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Comments about this poem (Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley )

  • Rookie Karl Stuart Kline (Human Rights) (3/28/2008 10:08:00 AM)

    I enjoy returning to this poem from time to time, particularly since it gives me some perspective on the fantastic, plastic, bombastic leaders we have conducting the affairs of church and state...

    BTW, re: 'bombast'
    '...a verbose grandiosity or pretentious inflation of language and style disproportionate to thought.'
    I think that it's a term that is much better applied to preachers, politics and the pulpit than to this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Ann Guerra (3/10/2008 8:00:00 PM)

    Let a few world leaders to read these words and think. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Patrick McFarland (12/10/2007 10:08:00 PM)

    Perhaps more relevant today than the day it was written. Great poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Nick Capozzoli (8/1/2007 1:08:00 AM)

    Lines 4 1/2,5, and 6 are excellent and sound like good lines from Keats or Yeats. Otherwise the poem is bombastic, but it is fairly good bombast. Someone once described this as the 'best' bad poem. I agree. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Martin Lewis (6/13/2007 1:09:00 PM)

    how many kings have done the very thing all great men do? Nations rise and fall and their legacies the ruins we view often on the History Channel. Only one has done something that with faith remains to be seen, victory over death. No one else can claim this only Him. Do you know who? I'll tell you...Jesus Christ, King of Kings. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Karl Stuart Kline (Human Rights) (3/13/2007 1:02:00 PM)

    I found another reference to 'A Defence of Poetry' on Bartleby's.com, - Totally different essay, although it was the same title and the same author...
    What Bartleby's had was much longer (over 12,000 words!) , more analytical and much less impassioned than the essay that I found. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 2 Points Chris Mendros (3/12/2007 9:50:00 AM)

    i find this an excellent illustration of the fleeting nature of glory.
    A classic. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Karl Stuart Kline (Human Rights) (3/11/2007 6:21:00 AM)

    I also have an old book that Includes an essay by Shelley, titled 'A Defense of Poetry' and I was unable to find any reference to it on the Internet, so I have included it on a separate page at my Poeticat.com web site.

    Enjoy! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Karl Stuart Kline (Human Rights) (3/10/2007 9:37:00 PM)

    Ozymandias is a long time favorite of mine...
    Back when g. w. bush was first conducting his invasion of Iraq, I was writing some material that drew a parallel between Ozymandias and Saddam Hussein.
    Even though the belief that the son of the one time director of the C.I.A. and President of the United States would have access to reliable intelligence that would justify his actions turned out to be misplaced faith, I still believe that the parallel holds true... Rather like history repeating itself! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Nagabhushana Swamy (6/18/2005 1:47:00 AM)

    This poem can be read as a comment on the act of 'reading' and the problems of understanding. The poem is about what the narrator 'read' through the narration of atraveller from an antique land, who had 'read' something in the shattered visage. That shattered visage itself is the result of a 'reading', done by the sculptor. With all these filters we the readers 'read' the poem. Is not all communication something that passes through various filters of 'readings'? (Report) Reply



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