Wednesday, March 23, 2011

For Percy Bysshe Shelley

Instinctively, I loved the nature poets at high school, which are sometimes called the romantic poets -- Shelley, Wordsworth, Byron, Keats, Blake, Colleridge and probably a few more.

Here is my favourite Shelley poem: The Witch of Atlas, which forms a semi-metaphysical and derivative basis for ANIMAIA, the novel. And here is my favourite stanza:

"And first the spotted cameleopard came,
And then the wise and fearless elephant;
Then the sly serpent, in the golden flame
Of his own volumes intervolved; -- all gaunt
And sanguine beasts her gentle looks made tame.
They drank before her at her sacred fount;
And every beast of beating heart grew bold,
Such gentleness and power even to behold

Shelley was a vegetarian and probably a pantheist. This was, no doubt, a salute to the natural world.

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