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The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley

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A milestone in literary scholarship, the publication of the Johns Hopkins edition of The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley makes available for the first time critically edited clear texts of all poems and translations that Shelley published or circulated among friends, as well as diplomatic texts of his significant incomplete poetic drafts and fragments. Edited upon A milestone in literary scholarship, the publication of the Johns Hopkins edition of The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley makes available for the first time critically edited clear texts of all poems and translations that Shelley published or circulated among friends, as well as diplomatic texts of his significant incomplete poetic drafts and fragments. Edited upon historical principles by Donald H. Reiman and Neil Fraistat, the multi volume edition will offer more poems and fragments than any previous collective edition, arranged in the order of their first circulation. These texts are followed by the most extensive collations hitherto available and detailed commentaries that describe their contextual origins and subsequent reception. Rejected passages of released poems appear as supplements to those poems, while other poetic drafts that Shelley rejected or left incomplete at his death will be grouped according to either their publication histories or the notebooks in which they survive. Volume One includes Shelley's first four works containing poetry (all prepared for publication before his expulsion from Oxford), as well as "The Devil's Walk" (circulated in August 1812), and a series of short poems that he sent to friends between 1809 and 1814, including a bawdy satire on his parents and "Oh wretched mortal," a poem never before published. An appendix discusses poems lost or erroneously attributed to the young Shelley. "These early poems are important not only biographically but also aesthetically, for they provide detailed evidence of how Shelley went about learning his craft as a poet, and the differences between their tone and that of his mature short poetry index a radical change in his self-image... The poems in Volume I, then, demonstrate Shelley's capacity to write verse in a range of stylistic registers. This early verse, even in its most abandoned forays into Sensibility, the Gothic, political satire, and vulgarity—perhaps especially in these most apparently idiosyncratic gestures—provides telling access to its own cultural moment, as well as to Shelley's art and thought in general."—from the Editorial Overview


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A milestone in literary scholarship, the publication of the Johns Hopkins edition of The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley makes available for the first time critically edited clear texts of all poems and translations that Shelley published or circulated among friends, as well as diplomatic texts of his significant incomplete poetic drafts and fragments. Edited upon A milestone in literary scholarship, the publication of the Johns Hopkins edition of The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley makes available for the first time critically edited clear texts of all poems and translations that Shelley published or circulated among friends, as well as diplomatic texts of his significant incomplete poetic drafts and fragments. Edited upon historical principles by Donald H. Reiman and Neil Fraistat, the multi volume edition will offer more poems and fragments than any previous collective edition, arranged in the order of their first circulation. These texts are followed by the most extensive collations hitherto available and detailed commentaries that describe their contextual origins and subsequent reception. Rejected passages of released poems appear as supplements to those poems, while other poetic drafts that Shelley rejected or left incomplete at his death will be grouped according to either their publication histories or the notebooks in which they survive. Volume One includes Shelley's first four works containing poetry (all prepared for publication before his expulsion from Oxford), as well as "The Devil's Walk" (circulated in August 1812), and a series of short poems that he sent to friends between 1809 and 1814, including a bawdy satire on his parents and "Oh wretched mortal," a poem never before published. An appendix discusses poems lost or erroneously attributed to the young Shelley. "These early poems are important not only biographically but also aesthetically, for they provide detailed evidence of how Shelley went about learning his craft as a poet, and the differences between their tone and that of his mature short poetry index a radical change in his self-image... The poems in Volume I, then, demonstrate Shelley's capacity to write verse in a range of stylistic registers. This early verse, even in its most abandoned forays into Sensibility, the Gothic, political satire, and vulgarity—perhaps especially in these most apparently idiosyncratic gestures—provides telling access to its own cultural moment, as well as to Shelley's art and thought in general."—from the Editorial Overview

30 review for The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    Over the next year you’re going to see a lot of updates from me about Percy Shelley . Shelley was a great man. He was a visionary. He was a genius. He saw the world, and he understood it. He saw beyond the idiotic structures that man has built; he saw beyond society and people: he saw to the very heart of nature and the romantic imagination, and he embraced it. Percy Shelley was a great man. Percy Shelley is my hero. His poetry is profound. It speaks to me on levels I didn’t think possible. Imagi Over the next year you’re going to see a lot of updates from me about Percy Shelley . Shelley was a great man. He was a visionary. He was a genius. He saw the world, and he understood it. He saw beyond the idiotic structures that man has built; he saw beyond society and people: he saw to the very heart of nature and the romantic imagination, and he embraced it. Percy Shelley was a great man. Percy Shelley is my hero. His poetry is profound. It speaks to me on levels I didn’t think possible. Imagine what he could have done if he lived another ten years. Imagine what art he could have produced. Imagine, imagine….just imagine. Shelley died when he was far too young. His like is rare. The world needs more men like Shelley. What a true pleasure to write my dissertation on such a man.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Irene

    Please can I rip all the pages out of this book and rub them all over my body?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jamey

    T.S. Eliot can say what he wants. Shelley towers over him.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Myles

    He's great, or 'Great,' I guess. Still, like cheesecake, Shelley's a little rich for me. Moreover, I feel like Romanticism created plenty of its own Ozymandiuses with its big ideas and its fierce self-regard. He's great, or 'Great,' I guess. Still, like cheesecake, Shelley's a little rich for me. Moreover, I feel like Romanticism created plenty of its own Ozymandiuses with its big ideas and its fierce self-regard.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rowland Pasaribu

    The central thematic concerns of Shelley’s poetry are largely the same themes that defined Romanticism, especially among the younger English poets of Shelley’s era: beauty, the passions, nature, political liberty, creativity, and the sanctity of the imagination. What makes Shelley’s treatment of these themes unique is his philosophical relationship to his subject matter—which was better developed and articulated than that of any other Romantic poet with the possible exception of Wordsworth—and h The central thematic concerns of Shelley’s poetry are largely the same themes that defined Romanticism, especially among the younger English poets of Shelley’s era: beauty, the passions, nature, political liberty, creativity, and the sanctity of the imagination. What makes Shelley’s treatment of these themes unique is his philosophical relationship to his subject matter—which was better developed and articulated than that of any other Romantic poet with the possible exception of Wordsworth—and his temperament, which was extraordinarily sensitive and responsive even for a Romantic poet, and which possessed an extraordinary capacity for joy, love, and hope. Shelley fervently believed in the possibility of realizing an ideal of human happiness as based on beauty, and his moments of darkness and despair (he had many, particularly in book-length poems such as the monumental Queen Mab) almost always stem from his disappointment at seeing that ideal sacrificed to human weakness. Shelley’s intense feelings about beauty and expression are documented in poems such as “Ode to the West Wind” and “To a Skylark,” in which he invokes metaphors from nature to characterize his relationship to his art. The center of his aesthetic philosophy can be found in his important essay A Defence of Poetry, in which he argues that poetry brings about moral good. Poetry, Shelley argues, exercises and expands the imagination, and the imagination is the source of sympathy, compassion, and love, which rest on the ability to project oneself into the position of another person. No other English poet of the early nineteenth century so emphasized the connection between beauty and goodness, or believed so avidly in the power of art’s sensual pleasures to improve society. Byron’s pose was one of amoral sensuousness, or of controversial rebelliousness; Keats believed in beauty and aesthetics for their own sake. But Shelley was able to believe that poetry makes people and society better; his poetry is suffused with this kind of inspired moral optimism, which he hoped would affect his readers sensuously, spiritually, and morally, all at the same time. In Shelley’s poetry, the figure of the poet (and, to some extent, the figure of Shelley himself) is not simply a talented entertainer or even a perceptive moralist but a grand, tragic, prophetic hero. The poet has a deep, mystic appreciation for nature, as in the poem “To Wordsworth” (1816), and this intense connection with the natural world gives him access to profound cosmic truths, as in “Alastor; or, The Spirit of Solitude” (1816). He has the power—and the duty—to translate these truths, through the use of his imagination, into poetry, but only a kind of poetry that the public can understand. Thus, his poetry becomes a kind of prophecy, and through his words, a poet has the ability to change the world for the better and to bring about political, social, and spiritual change. Shelley’s poet is a near-divine savior, comparable to Prometheus, who stole divine fire and gave it to humans in Greek mythology, and to Christ. Like Prometheus and Christ, figures of the poets in Shelley’s work are often doomed to suffer: because their visionary power isolates them from other men, because they are misunderstood by critics, because they are persecuted by a tyrannical government, or because they are suffocated by conventional religion and middle-class values. In the end, however, the poet triumphs because his art is immortal, outlasting the tyranny of government, religion, and society and living on to inspire new generations. Like many of the romantic poets, especially William Wordsworth, Shelley demonstrates a great reverence for the beauty of nature, and he feels closely connected to nature’s power. In his early poetry, Shelley shares the romantic interest in pantheism—the belief that God, or a divine, unifying spirit, runs through everything in the universe. He refers to this unifying natural force in many poems, describing it as the “spirit of beauty” in “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” and identifying it with Mont Blanc and the Arve River in “Mont Blanc.” This force is the cause of all human joy, faith, goodness, and pleasure, and it is also the source of poetic inspiration and divine truth. Shelley asserts several times that this force can influence people to change the world for the better. However, Shelley simultaneously recognizes that nature’s power is not wholly positive. Nature destroys as often as it inspires or creates, and it destroys cruelly and indiscriminately. For this reason, Shelley’s delight in nature is mitigated by an awareness of its dark side. Shelley uses nature as his primary source of poetic inspiration. In such poems as “The Mask of Anarchy Written on the Occasion of the Massacre at Manchester” (1819) and “Ode to the West Wind,” Shelley suggests that the natural world holds a sublime power over his imagination. This power seems to come from a stranger, more mystical place than simply his appreciation for nature’s beauty or grandeur. At the same time, although nature has creative power over Shelley because it provides inspiration, he feels that his imagination has creative power over nature. It is the imagination—or our ability to form sensory perceptions—that allows us to describe nature in different, original ways, which help to shape how nature appears and, therefore, how it exists. Thus, the power of the human mind becomes equal to the power of nature, and the experience of beauty in the natural world becomes a kind of collaboration between the perceiver and the perceived. Because Shelley cannot be sure that the sublime powers he senses in nature are only the result of his gifted imagination, he finds it difficult to attribute nature’s power to God: the human role in shaping nature damages Shelley’s ability to believe that nature’s beauty comes solely from a divine source. This sonnet from 1817 is probably Shelley’s most famous and most anthologized poem—which is somewhat strange, considering that it is in many ways an atypical poem for Shelley, and that it touches little upon the most important themes in his oeuvre at large (beauty, expression, love, imagination). Still, “Ozymandias” is a masterful sonnet. Essentially it is devoted to a single metaphor: the shattered, ruined statue in the desert wasteland, with its arrogant, passionate face and monomaniacal inscription (“Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”). The once-great king’s proud boast has been ironically disproved; Ozymandias’s works have crumbled and disappeared, his civilization is gone, all has been turned to dust by the impersonal, indiscriminate, destructive power of history. The ruined statue is now merely a monument to one man’s hubris, and a powerful statement about the insignificance of human beings to the passage of time. Ozymandias is first and foremost a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of political power, and in that sense the poem is Shelley’s most outstanding political sonnet, trading the specific rage of a poem like “England in 1819” for the crushing impersonal metaphor of the statue. But Ozymandias symbolizes not only political power—the statue can be a metaphor for the pride and hubris of all of humanity, in any of its manifestations. It is significant that all that remains of Ozymandias is a work of art and a group of words; as Shakespeare does in the sonnets, Shelley demonstrates that art and language long outlast the other legacies of power. Of course, it is Shelley’s brilliant poetic rendering of the story, and not the subject of the story itself, which makes the poem so memorable. Framing the sonnet as a story told to the speaker by “a traveller from an antique land” enables Shelley to add another level of obscurity to Ozymandias’s position with regard to the reader—rather than seeing the statue with our own eyes, so to speak, we hear about it from someone who heard about it from someone who has seen it. Thus the ancient king is rendered even less commanding; the distancing of the narrative serves to undermine his power over us just as completely as has the passage of time. Shelley’s description of the statue works to reconstruct, gradually, the figure of the “king of kings”: first we see merely the “shattered visage,” then the face itself, with its “frown / And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command”; then we are introduced to the figure of the sculptor, and are able to imagine the living man sculpting the living king, whose face wore the expression of the passions now inferable; then we are introduced to the king’s people in the line, “the hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.” The kingdom is now imaginatively complete, and we are introduced to the extraordinary, prideful boast of the king: “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” With that, the poet demolishes our imaginary picture of the king, and interposes centuries of ruin between it and us: “ ‘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 far away.”

  6. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. If you like Romance and Death and Sadness and Woe and Grandeur and Misery and Longing and Truth... and strenuous capitalization of the Abstract. and c'mon, you know you do! If you like Romance and Death and Sadness and Woe and Grandeur and Misery and Longing and Truth... and strenuous capitalization of the Abstract. and c'mon, you know you do!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Shelley is the best lyricist in poetic history. In my humble opinion anyway. It's a shame that he's overshadowed all the time by his wife, but he is once again slowly being recognised as one of the greater romantic poets.. Shelley is the best lyricist in poetic history. In my humble opinion anyway. It's a shame that he's overshadowed all the time by his wife, but he is once again slowly being recognised as one of the greater romantic poets..

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Before I get going on this review, let me link to the reviews I've already done of Shelley's longer (or more famous) works: "Ozymandias" "Alastor" Prometheus Unbound The Cenci "Adonais" "The Witch of Atlas" It's been a while since I really gave time to one poet in the way that I used to be able to over summer break. Not only did I complete my Keats study, but I also was able to get in an extensive study of Lord Byron. While I was able to look at some works by other Romantics along the way, I fe Before I get going on this review, let me link to the reviews I've already done of Shelley's longer (or more famous) works: "Ozymandias" "Alastor" Prometheus Unbound The Cenci "Adonais" "The Witch of Atlas" It's been a while since I really gave time to one poet in the way that I used to be able to over summer break. Not only did I complete my Keats study, but I also was able to get in an extensive study of Lord Byron. While I was able to look at some works by other Romantics along the way, I feel like maybe I glossed over some of the less interesting figures. Furthermore, as of late I have been occupied with my first full reading of the Bible as well as a study on Shakespeare. Also, it's my last week of my first semester of college- I'm a busy gal! To get to the point, I decided it would be pleasant to try another Romantic study and take a break from the Scriptures and the Bard. Thus, I have just had a week full of Shelley.... and not Mary this time! My interest in reading Percy Shelley's poem actually began last year when I learned some about him indirectly. Of course, I read Frankenstein in my AP English Lit class, so naturally we had to learn about both Shelleys, although we sort of skimmed over Percy. Being the way I am, I got pretty curious eventually- if Mary's novel turned out to be so excellent, could her husband's poetry be just as phenomenal. Well, now I've got the answer. While Shelley's poems are frequently very beautiful and very intricate, those very elements are often his downfall. The shorter poems of his have generally become very famous for a good reason, such as the brilliant and realistically pessimistic "Ozymandias" or the insightful and political "Sonnet: England in 1819". The list goes on and on; let's face it, this guy had his sonnets down pat. He's just about as close to Keats as I've seen in that category, to be completely frank- that's really saying something, as I believe that that's a hard level to get up to. However, Shelley's poetry and drama seriously suffers from the same elements that make the sonnets fantastic, as I mentioned before. As you may see from my other reviews of Shelley, I use the word "flowery" to describe the way he writes. It's sometimes a bit much, a bit too metaphorical and lofty to really reach the audience. Therefore, the longer works become a bit of a drag to read, sort of a chore to complete. And as much as I love his short works, this makes the experience less enjoyable as a whole. That's why I have not rated him higher than 3 stars.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tragicmirth

    Shelley is my favourite poet.He was a true revolutionary.All his works are very endearing and also infuse the "revolutionary" spirit in one's heart.He was really on a cosmic scale.Sublime! Shelley is my favourite poet.He was a true revolutionary.All his works are very endearing and also infuse the "revolutionary" spirit in one's heart.He was really on a cosmic scale.Sublime!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tom Baikin-O'hayon

    Reading his biography one can't help but pity or despise him. Reading his poetry one can't help but fall in love with him. Reading his biography one can't help but pity or despise him. Reading his poetry one can't help but fall in love with him.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Fairweather

    I think I’ve read enough—while I’d read shorter works by Shelley relatively extensively when much younger, I don’t think I’d yet had the sophistication to appreciate the import of the longer more philosophical works… and maybe now I’m too old to appreciate them! I’m kidding, but I am pretty taken aback by how the philosophy in Shelley’s work seems to be so in line with our own times. I'll say this, that aesthetically Shelley can be very beautiful and there are definitely interesting moments in Sh I think I’ve read enough—while I’d read shorter works by Shelley relatively extensively when much younger, I don’t think I’d yet had the sophistication to appreciate the import of the longer more philosophical works… and maybe now I’m too old to appreciate them! I’m kidding, but I am pretty taken aback by how the philosophy in Shelley’s work seems to be so in line with our own times. I'll say this, that aesthetically Shelley can be very beautiful and there are definitely interesting moments in Shelley’s work. Though I was less taken with the imagery, philosophically, I found Shelley at his most sophisticated in ‘Alastor, or the Spirit of Solitude’ wherein the poet’s idyllic vision of love taunts him in his particularity—yet even here, the poets is received in peace by the cradle of some static nature via the “obscurest chasm.” I see here a desire for the apolitical in his work that I think is shared by our own times—perhaps Andrea Long Chu’s wish to somehow “embody” the female principle being the most recent exponent of this attempt to purely internalize, to resist the political impulse to no avail. I find Shelley most interesting in his more “Aeschylean” themes, namely his refusal of “blood for blood.” Below, from ’The Revolt of Islam’, should express my feeling… What call ye *justice*? Is there one who ne’er In secret thought has withed another ill? Are all ye pure? Let those stand forth who hear And tremble not. Shall they insult and kill, If such they be? their mild eyes can they fill With the false anger of the hypocrite? Alas, such were not pure! The chastened will Of virtue sees that justice is the light Of love, and not revenge and terror and despite. ‘Prometheus Bound’ expresses similar distaste for revenge and the perpetuation of blood guilt. Shelley similarly is at his best in his atheism, which is far more interesting than the sorts of writers we usually associate with “atheism” today. From ‘Queen Mab’— Virtue and wisdom, truth and liberty, Fled, to return not, until man shall know That they alone can give the bliss Worthy a soul that claims Its kindred with eternity. Probably my favorite quote of this theme, below— There needeth not the hell that bigots frame To punish those who err; earth in itself Contains at once the evil and the cure; And all-sufficing Nature can chastise Those who transgress her law; she only knows How to justly proportion to the fault The punishment its merits. Yet, Shelley’s vision is compromised by what I take as a rather conservative insistence on achieving some sort of “balance” with a timeless and static nature that quite reminded me of Hermeticism. From the same poem— But, were it virtue’s nature only need to dwell In a celestial palace, all resigned To pleasurable impulses, immured Within the prison of itself, the will Of changeless Nature would be unfulfilled. Lean to make others happy. Spirit, come! This is thine high reward:—the past shall rise; Though shalt behold the present; I will teach the secrets of the future. The relationship of the universal and the particular, which rarely sees exposition in Shelley’s work, tends instead to exult the universal, seeing it as some sort of state of being wherein to strive rightly is to strive to unify oneself with some originally phenomenon corrupted by “custom”, Shelley’s enemy. There is a deterministic movement attributed to spirit as demonstrated by lines such as, “No atom of this turbulence fulfills a vague and unnecessitated task or acts but as it must and ought to act.” I can hardly think of a point of view that I find myself more at odds with! In Shelley’s longer works the battle cry against custom, custom, custom, rings out again and again. Shelley’s most hated element is Custom which, in ‘The Revolt of Islam’ he attributes the qualities of the brood of hydra, an enemy to justice and truth. […] All vied In evil slave and despot; feat with lust Strange fellowship through mutual hate had tied, Like two dark serpents tangled in the dust, Which on the paths of men their mingling poison thrust. Here, the crucible of Custom is quite intelligently demonstrated by the master and the slave in mutual bondage. But he goes too far in insisting that custom is some sort of unnecessary intermediary between ourselves and truth. Once again from ‘Revolt of Islam’— And such is Nature’s law divine that those Who grow together cannot choose but love, If faith or custom do not interpose, Or common slavery mar what else might move All gentlest thoughts. There’s here again an element of what I charge to be the prevalent conservatism of our time which is less an advocation for a certain set of values to be exhibited within ritual, but a longing for a time before the “corruption of civilization.” Such believers inevitably see childhood as some sort of golden age of insight… growing older can be nothing but a ruination of the soul… But else from the wide earth’s maternal breast Victorious Evil, which had dispossessed All native power, had those fair children torn, And made them slaves to soothe his vile unrest, And minister to lust its joys forlorn, Till they had learned to breathe the atmosphere of scorn. This runs in tandem with our society’s unwillingness to wrestle with power at risk of finding ourselves dirtied by its fertile soil. Whatever your political sympathies, I think that, today, one is likely to share a distrust in “power”—something so prevalent in the poetry of Shelley. There’s two sides to this distrust in Shelley, one which is more admirable, as found in the following passage from ‘Queen Mab’— Nature rejects the monarch, not the man; The subject, not the citizen; for kings And subjects, mutual foes, forever play A losing game into each other’s hands, Whose stakes are vice and misery. The man Of virtuous soul commands not, not obeys. Yet he is misguided in his seeing power merely as a form of punishment of the innocent, as expressed in the following passage which could be written by any old liberal today— And it is said this Power will punish wrong; Yes, add despair to crime, and pain to pain! […] Virtue and vice, they say, are difference vain— The will of strength is right, This human state Tyrants, that they may rule, with lies his desolate. There is a very simplistic logic at play here which resists honoring constituents as members of a rational community, the bedrock of being a member of any society. Rather than face this fact head-on, we have countless recommendations in Shelley towards not losing innocence, to being wild in spirit… sustained by that age old prejudice against the body in favor of the mind—that our conditionality is the enemy of our fulfillment rather than the precondition of it. My spirit felt again like one of those, Like thine, whose fate it is to make the woes Of humankind their prey. What was this cave? Its deep foundation no firm purpose knows Immutable, resistless, strong to save, Like mind with it mocks the all-devouring grave. Shelley is not aware of what I see to be the most basic truth—that we must be *taught* to be wild. There is no foundational state of understanding which we stray from. There is no “real self” to betray. And Innocence is not a virtue. Call me a philistine, if you will!

  12. 5 out of 5

    riah✰

    Ah, Shelley. Rad poet, radder human being. So about two months ago I picked up a biography of the Romantic poets & the marriage of Mary & Percy Shelley, then realized I only knew one poem by Shelley, saw his collected works on Project Gutenberg, and was like, sure this'll be fun! Reading every poem ever written by Percy Shelley has taught me a few things about myself, mainly that while I am very here for the Shelley ~aesthetic~, I am less here for the actual act of reading, especially the long win Ah, Shelley. Rad poet, radder human being. So about two months ago I picked up a biography of the Romantic poets & the marriage of Mary & Percy Shelley, then realized I only knew one poem by Shelley, saw his collected works on Project Gutenberg, and was like, sure this'll be fun! Reading every poem ever written by Percy Shelley has taught me a few things about myself, mainly that while I am very here for the Shelley ~aesthetic~, I am less here for the actual act of reading, especially the long winding epics (outside of Prometheus Unbound which is fantastic). Sonnets though, dang could the main write a sonnet. My plan was to next move on to his #1 boo Lord Byron, but I think I'm going to take a short poetry break instead. Still if anyone finds themselves itching for so melodrama, my personal faves of his collection are the aforementioned 'Prometheus Unbound' & 'Adonaïs', and for the shorter sonnets 'To ----' & 'Ozymandias'.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cinn

    God tier poet, hands down, and up, and around. Percy Bysshe Shelley is the coolest one on the poet's block, I would sell my soul to revive this absolute legend. God tier poet, hands down, and up, and around. Percy Bysshe Shelley is the coolest one on the poet's block, I would sell my soul to revive this absolute legend.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Steve Morrison

    Shelley is the poet who has moved me most greatly over the years. He was a skeptical visionary--a spiritual revolutionary who understood the limitations of human character. His favorite writer was the down-to-earth Montaigne. Shelley's lyrical poetry is among the best in the language, and is the most ravishingly musical I know. Some of his longer poems seem to be a bit less-well-known, though they're some of the most rewarding long poems since Spenser, and necessary for an understanding of Shell Shelley is the poet who has moved me most greatly over the years. He was a skeptical visionary--a spiritual revolutionary who understood the limitations of human character. His favorite writer was the down-to-earth Montaigne. Shelley's lyrical poetry is among the best in the language, and is the most ravishingly musical I know. Some of his longer poems seem to be a bit less-well-known, though they're some of the most rewarding long poems since Spenser, and necessary for an understanding of Shelley's development, in addition to being thrilling to read. So here are my top ten Shelley works, in roughly chronological order: Alastor, or the Spirit of Solitude- Shelley's early quest-romance is unsettling, and central to Romanticism. The Cenci- Perhaps the only Romantic play that might actually work onstage--a powerful tragedy. Ode to the West Wind- Shelley cries out his prophecy of eternal renewal. Witch of Atlas- A favorite of mine, this Spenserian fantasy is witty, intriguing, breathtakingly beautiful and deliciously ironic. Epipsychidion- Shelley's hymn to free love. Julian and Maddalo- Fascinating fictional dialogue between Shelley and Byron stand-ins. Prometheus Unbound- Shelley's ambitious masterpiece; Yeats believed it to be one the world's great sacred books. Read it and reread it, this is truly incredible. With Blake's epics and Wordsworth's Prelude, this is the summit of Romanticism. Adonais- Shelley's visionary elegy for himself. Hellas- Transcendent, revolutionary drama. Triumph of Life- Shelley's terrible final Dantesque vision, truly devastating and one of his most astounding pieces.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alan Lindsay

    It's Shelley. It's Shelley.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ele #FreePalestine

    Can man be free if women be a slave? -Laon and Cythna, 1817 Percy is my favourite poet. It is hard for me to consider how to write this review without gushing all over his work, but I'll try. Also, not the edition I've read; I have had the misfortune to not, as of yet, get to read the entirety of his works. What fascinated me the most was how modern Percy's arguments seem. He was a vegetarian, believing in that humans, plants, and animals are equal. He had come to this conclusion after reading Hind Can man be free if women be a slave? -Laon and Cythna, 1817 Percy is my favourite poet. It is hard for me to consider how to write this review without gushing all over his work, but I'll try. Also, not the edition I've read; I have had the misfortune to not, as of yet, get to read the entirety of his works. What fascinated me the most was how modern Percy's arguments seem. He was a vegetarian, believing in that humans, plants, and animals are equal. He had come to this conclusion after reading Hindu scriptures. He believed man must go back to nature, not in a 'naturalist' sort of way, but for our health, sanity, and the future of our planet. He was a feminist, believing women should take control of their own lives and sexuality, and thought peace would never be accomplished till the day man and women 'walk on equal ground'. He attempted to single-handedly rid Ireland of England's oppression (remember, he was English). He was an atheist, but not like they are today; he kindly noted that, if a Christian gave him proof of their God he would gladly accept it as a fact, but he just happens to not believe because he saw no proof. It's not only the content I love; he really manages to spur the emotions of his reader, to get them angry with him. On almost starts to sing the Marseilles just reading his poetry. He has a beautiful writing, and when he isn't writing about politics, the poems are lovely songs in the praise of nature's beauty. It is a tragedy he died at only the age of 29, just think of all that he had still to say. They cut short the life of a brilliant man and a talented poet.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Eve

    Prose-wise, Shelley is my favourite poet. So light and powerful, like the wind, and pure like crystals (I'm just waxing lyrical, but you get my point) Ode to the West Wind, and The Masque of Anarchy, such power and beauty in political poems! Revolution will come! Also, Shelley's poems aren't just "young person's passion and naivety", for instance, in Stanzas Written in Dejection Near Naples, he depicts loneliness and dejection, but even then, the beach imagery is gorgeous and pure, and in the end Prose-wise, Shelley is my favourite poet. So light and powerful, like the wind, and pure like crystals (I'm just waxing lyrical, but you get my point) Ode to the West Wind, and The Masque of Anarchy, such power and beauty in political poems! Revolution will come! Also, Shelley's poems aren't just "young person's passion and naivety", for instance, in Stanzas Written in Dejection Near Naples, he depicts loneliness and dejection, but even then, the beach imagery is gorgeous and pure, and in the end, he still manages to pull himself together and end with a hopeful note. Shelley really is one of my favourites, able to see into tragedy, but still come out of it light and powerful.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karol

    Read on to discover a man's claim of capability and determination to shed light on love, beauty, and a community's right to band together... Alas one must scratch at the scans of superficiality to uncover a cave of gems that force One question how do I draw "the source of human thought". Read on to discover a man's claim of capability and determination to shed light on love, beauty, and a community's right to band together... Alas one must scratch at the scans of superficiality to uncover a cave of gems that force One question how do I draw "the source of human thought".

  19. 5 out of 5

    Naman Singh

    Shelley's poems are worthy to be praised and at times too way forward of his times. He wrote struck by a passion and ended his writings with a note of wisdom and a kind of lesson. Shelley's poems are worthy to be praised and at times too way forward of his times. He wrote struck by a passion and ended his writings with a note of wisdom and a kind of lesson.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sera Taíno

    Love Shelley.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cyprien Saito

    I love his Alastor or Spirit of Solitude.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Aladdin Aldair

    I am always reading this

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brent

    I like how a bunch of hacks are giving Percy Shelley's poems a low rating(less than 5 star). LOL! Pretty rich. I like how a bunch of hacks are giving Percy Shelley's poems a low rating(less than 5 star). LOL! Pretty rich.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Sumoza

    dnf because I'm too dense to understand this style of poetry even though it's beautiful dnf because I'm too dense to understand this style of poetry even though it's beautiful

  25. 4 out of 5

    Emma McDonald

    The man, the myth, the legend, and the MOMENT right here.

  26. 4 out of 5

    J. M. Stein

    He easily crumples the facades that humanity (as a whole) depends upon; he extolls our ability to ascend it, both in life and death. Beautiful.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Conorlu

    Incredibly distinct and friendly poetry and loved the use of the sublime especially within Mont Blanc

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jana Eichhorn

    Given my general overall 'iffy-ness' regarding poetry, I probably would have been fine with 'Shelley's Greatest Hits.' I'm most likely a heathen. Given my general overall 'iffy-ness' regarding poetry, I probably would have been fine with 'Shelley's Greatest Hits.' I'm most likely a heathen.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Aveugle Vogel

    "briony, pearled" "briony, pearled"

  30. 4 out of 5

    Strong Extraordinary Dreams

    Really, I must have read half of this huge collection of work, or more. I devoured it as a poetry discovering teenager. I had an older edition, with padded covers of fake leather, in red, with embossed writing. Some of them are great, many go on WAY too long, but 4 stars for the effect this tome had on my life.

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