Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Lone and Level Sands

(pastel by Polly Jackson)

Ozymandias
I met a traveller 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 far away.


14 comments:

Roy said...

Hmmmmm... You definitely have a point there. I've always wondered if the makers of the movie The Planet of the Apes had Ozymandias in mind when they concocted that final scene - the Statue of Liberty sticking up from the desert sands.

Ima Wizer said...

I truly believe it, too....and when/if (but certainly invariably) a hurricane hits and throws this oil on land in these lush, southern states, goodbye citrus, goodbye old trees and old swamps, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye. Not to mention driving on oil slicked highways.....OMG!

K. said...

Roy: You're on to something with Planet of the Apes. Talk about a great we-have-met-the-enemy-and-he-is-us commentary. That one stays with you, despite Chuck H.'s melodramatic wails.

Ima: Great painting.

I hope you get to see Mt St Helens someday. Slowly but surely, it is rebuilding itself. The Gulf Coast will, too, and I'm not being lofty when I say this. The Gulf Coast will reconstruct itself if Mother Nature has to eradicate the human race in the bargain. When it comes down to cutting nuts, that's Al Gore's fundamental point..

T. Clear said...

I must make it known that Citizen K. read this to me aloud last night sitting at a bar, drinking 3-olive vodka martinis. What a guy!

Foxessa said...

But to do so Mother Nature is going to have kill every last member of this global exterminating species.

Love, C.

K. said...

Good martinis, too!

Being an environmentalist out of a respect and love for nature is half of the equation. The other half is pure self-preservation. As a species, though, we're notoriously bad at looking down the road to prepare for future consequences.

TaraDharma said...

in the face of such idiocy, martinis are the only sensible response.

Ima Wizer said...

K, it's a pastel, just so you know (not a painting). Thank you for the compliment!
Happy 4th!

Editilla~New Orleans Ladder said...

Wow! This is one of the coolest posts I've ever seen.

Editilla~New Orleans Ladder said...

Have y'all ever read "Woman in the Dunes" by Kobo Abe?

K. said...

Ima: Hey, I'm just an English major! Noted and fixed.

Editilla: I just read about it, and added it to my list. There's a movie, too, which sounds pretty amazing, too.

Christine H. said...

This is a poem I have thought of often, but not recently. Oh, it does seem so much more relevant now.

Christine H. said...

P.S.
Roy's comment is right on target.

K. said...

Honestly, I hadn't read it or thought of it in years. A character in Iain Pears' new novel made an allusion to one of the lines; thanks to Google, I was able to look it up. I've never known Roy to be off target!