Dear Readers,

I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday Midday Poetry: Ode to the West Wind, Part IV

By Percy "I seduced my [awesome Gothic novelist] wife at the foot of her [amazingly prescient feminst] mother's grave" Bysshe Shelley.

If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;

If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;

A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share

The impulse of thy strength, only less free

Than thou, O Uncontrollable! If even

I were as in my boyhood, and could be

The comrade of thy wanderings over Heaven,

As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed

Scarce seemed a vision; I would ne'er have striven

As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.

Oh! lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!

I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!

A heavy weight of hours has chained and bowed

One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.

This is my fave stanza of a generally kick-ass long poem. You can probably see why. The language is dramatic ("I Fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!" PERCY. TRUE.). The sense of longing is potent. Shelley contrasts the heaviness of his current life with the lightness of childhood, nature and the wind. Also, he uses the phrase "skiey speed." I rest my case.

1 comment:

  1. Came across your blog on Facebook -> IRead -> Daniel Deronda. Just had to comment on this poem which seduced me when I was 15... 14? I can't remember. My favourite stanza was Stanza II: "Thou dirge / Of the dying year, to which this closing night / Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre / Vaulted with all thy congregated might". Reciting those lines from memory aloud would seriously give me an adrenaline rush (<- stand-in for something else? sure...). Even though I've stopped reading Shelley (or any poetry, for that matter) for quite a while, it still brings a smile to my lips to see that I was not the only one=)