Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Words Survive

Picture by Sherri Palm at her home in Northern Wisconsin.

Ozymandias (1818) by Percy Byssie Shelly

This sonnet by Shelly just proves that words survive human rulers. Poetry/romantic perfectly turned phrases, will always remain. Even when rulers destroyed each others written words some survived. Preserved by someone who loved the words.

In this Petrarchan sonnet it is divided normally into 2 parts; question, formed by the first half, the octet, answers, normally follow in the second half, the sestet. In Ozymandias however, the octet paints an image, the sestet comments ironically.

The image of legs and a grinning face of a broken statue surrounded by a vast wasteland of desert sand speaks volumes to the reader. The writer paints the picture of the toppled statue that did not survive the ravages of time or change, but the words the author paints the scene with do. We don't have the desert but sometimes the snow can make the same statement. As with this picture by amateur photographer Sherrie Palm, a picture is truly worth a thousand words. Poets and writers create these pictures in words. The best of both worlds.

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