Wednesday, June 6, 2018


Percy Bysshe "Please" Shelley wrote a poem. I have heard the poem and liked it but never paid attention to the author thereof.

You may be familiar with Mark Twain's critical takedown of James Fennimore Cooper's work, it is well worth reading, although on the point of "using the wrong word" the same can be said about Twain. The English language changes rapidly enough that what Cooper thought was the correct word sounded odd to Twain, and now a hundred years on, the same can be said about Twain. But other than that his criticism is well aimed.

I recently read Twain's takedown of Shelley's biographer Edward Dowdin entitled In Defence of Harriet Shelley. Twain, being a plain spoken midwesterner cuts right to the chase and calls out Dowdin's denial of the facts of Harriet Shelley's life and Dowdin's inability to point out just what a bad person Shelley was. He was a walking, talking horrorshow of a human being. Nothing he did in life was defensible. That he died young, either on purpose or in an accident is actually a saving grace - he was no longer able to abuse others with his charm and wit.

While Twain's account of Shelley's life is not linear enough for me to follow I did read the Wikipedia page about Shelley. That cleared up some of the timeline for me and helped me with the names of the players involved. What a slagheap of humanity. Blighters, one and all.

Here is the poem - for all of his moral failings the boy did have a way with words. I turned on the CC so I could understand it - Bryan "Comrade" Cranston does not enunciate well:

I think that poem applies to Shelley's life, to Obama, and countless others. But that's just my opinion.


Trooper York said...

If you want to see an interesting interpretation of Shelly and his wife Mary you should check out Season One of the Frankenstein Chronicles on Netflicks. They have some flashback scenes and Mary is a big part of the plot in the first few episodes.

ricpic said...

On Stumbling, Once Again

Most lives are terrible.
We all do fall down.

That makes it possible...
Back up off the ground.

Sixty Grit said...

I hear ya, ricpic, and after reading about how badly Shelley behaved I reflected upon my own behavior over the course of my life. I still think he wins the cad award.

Once again, that's just my opinion. Perhaps others would say that I was as bad but I didn't write wonderful poems, therefore Shelley is the winner of that contest.

edutcher said...

Oz is the one Shelley poem everybody has heard. Everybody who was exposed to literature, of course.

PS You want cad, you look for his best bud, Byron. That guy was a swinger.

Amartel said...

Obullshit? Only ironically parallel to Ozymandias. Since Obama's achievements (from his perspective: Iran Deal, Paris Climate Accord, Obamacare) are not exactly standing the test of time since they're all already neutralized and dismantled except for Obamacare which is viewed with hostility by just about everyone who is forced into it, including head cases, as well as anyone else with a brain and therefore doesn't properly qualify as an "achievement." Now the scandals, that's another story. That could go on for a while. People are pissed at what this second rate floor model/poser got away with.

Sixty Grit said...

Sneering lip. Nothing remains. Works for me.

Rameses III he ain't.