Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Poem: Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley is a powerful, short poem that serves as a reminder to remain humble and not to fool oneself into believing that anything one does will stand the test of time. It also gets bonus points for having been recited by Ben Kingsley in a tv commerical, and by Bryan Cranston for the final season of Breaking Bad. Both videos are below.

See here, here and here for more on the meaning of the poem.


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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