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Poetry in the Poconos #4: "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I first became away of Shelley's "Ozymandias" through an award winning graphic novel, Watchmen, written by Alan Moore with art by Dave Gibbons. It takes place in the 1980s where Richard Nixon is president, a conflict is escalating between the US and USSR, a nuclear war is on the verge, and someone is murdering superheroes. With allusions to Bob Dylan, Albert Einstein, and William Burroughs--this graphic novel is a brilliant work nostalgic of an age that never existed. Watchmen is a superb work of art and a narrative masterpiece, which perfectly captures the spirit of Shelley's powerful poem, "Ozymandias."

Watchmen is on our shelves, and you can also get it as a free e-book via our e-book platform, Hoopla.

"Ozymandias" was written by Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1818. Ozymandias is the Greek name of Egyptian monarch, Ramses II, from the thirteenth century, B.C.


I met a traveler 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 fare away.

To hear me read "Ozymandias," click on this link:

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