Percy Bysshe Shelley

(1792-1822 / Horsham / England)

Percy Bysshe Shelley
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Shelley, born the heir to rich estates and the son of an Member of Parliament, went to University College, Oxford in 1810, but in March of the following year he and a friend, Thomas Jefferson Hogg, were both expelled for the suspected authorship of a pamphlet entitled The Necessity of Atheism.

In 1811 he met and eloped to Edinburgh with Harriet Westbrook and, one year later, went with her and her older sister first to Dublin, then to Devon and North Wales, where they stayed for six months into 1813. However, by 1814, and with the birth of two children, their marriage had collapsed and Shelley eloped once again, this time with Mary Godwin.

Along with Mary's step-sister, ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''I think that the leaf of a tree, the meanest insect on which we trample, are in themselves arguments more conclusive than any which can be adduced that some vast intellect animates Infinity.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. letter, Jan. 3, 1811.
  • It were as wise to cast a violet into a crucible that you might discover the formal principle of its colour and odour, as seek to transfuse from one language into another the creations of a poet. The ...
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. A Defence of Poetry (written 1821, published 1840).
  • ''Poetry is a sword of lightning, ever unsheathed, which consumes the scabbard that would contain it.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. A Defence of Poetry (written 1821, published 1840).
  • ''Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. A Defence of Poetry (written 1821, published 1840).
  • ''Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.''
    Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), British poet. A Defence of Poetry (written 1821, published 1840).
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Comments about Percy Bysshe Shelley

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  • Robert Graden (11/28/2017 5:10:00 AM)

    I have schizophrenia and have difficulty expressing feeling. Whatever emotional problems Shelley might've had, this little poem speaks and sings for me! I wish I had written it. But as it is, here it stands, waiting for the reader to come to it and read it aloud to musical accompaniment. I do not condemn Shelley or his life, and neither should anybody else. Thank you.

Read all 27 comments »
Best Poem of Percy Bysshe Shelley

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,
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 ...

Read the full of Ozymandias
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