Friday, February 13, 2009
If there is a poet I greatly admire for the finest, musical quality of his works, it’s Shelley. But rhymes only would speak too little to depict the man.
Percy Bysshe Shelley, eldest son of Sir Timothy Shelley and husband of Mary W. Godwin Shelley (author of FRANKENSTEIN), was one of England’s most celebrated poets – who was also recorded as one of the most revolutionary writers in British history.
Noteworthy for his outspoken views on politics, Shelley was forced to undergo exile in Italy, where he continued to write on behalf of the oppressed of his people. (It is worth noting that the majority of British citizens in those days – children included – were hard-laborers with little or no prospect of gaining a better standard of living.)
Shelley wrote in MEN OF ENGLAND: A SONG (1819):
Sow seed – but let no tyrant reap;
Find wealth – let no impostor heap;
Weave robes – let not the idle wear;
Forge arms – in your defence to bear.
Shelley, the revolutionist, died a month before his 30th birthday. The ship he boarded drowned on the voyage from Leghorn to Lerici.
Like most defenders of human rights, he was silenced…