Monday, August 23, 2010

Section II from "Ode to the West Wind" by Percy Bysshe Shelley


Thou on whose stream, ’mid the steep sky’s commotion,
Loose clouds like Earth’s decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,

Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread
On the blue surface of thine aery surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head

Of some fierce Maenad, even from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the zenith’s height,
The locks of the approaching storm. 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

Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain and fire and hail will burst: O hear!

Source of the text - Shelley, Percy Bysshe.  Shelley's Poetry and Prose, Second Edition, selected and edited by Donald H. Reiman and Neil Fraistat.  New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2002, p. 299.

TJB: Wind-envy. Shelley reaches metaphor’s limit: sea-storms as forestlike & crazy-hair; tonight as tomb-cap filled with the wind’s storm-dirge.

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