Britain: new poem by Shelley discovered: anti war, anti monarchy

ShelleyFrom British daily The Guardian:

Prophet of the revolution

Percy Bysshe Shelley is typically seen as the quintessential English romantic poet, all clouds and skylarks.

Yet a newly discovered poem confirms him as one of our most radical writers, a bitter critic of war and a supporter of republican rebellion. Paul O’Brien reports

Friday July 14, 2006

The discovery of a lost work by a major writer has always caused much excitement among critics and academics.

The revelation in today’s Times Literary Supplement that an early poem by the great Percy Bysshe Shelley has come to light, and is in the possession of a London bookseller, will cause even more excitement than most.

This is a wonderful discovery: few Shelley scholars ever believed the poem, Poetical Essay, would resurface and some even doubted its existence.

It is a fantastic chance to learn more about the political and poetic development of the young Shelley.

British weekly Socialist Worker wrote on Shelley’s antiwar message:

His hatred of the “cold advisers of yet colder Kings” echoes the scandal of the intelligence briefing about weapons of mass destruction that led to the Iraq war and has a freshness that resonates down to this day.

Shelley denounces the advisers who have:

The power to breathe
O’er all the world the infectious blast of death.
Millions to fight compell’d, to fight or die
In mangled heaps on War’s red alter lie
When legal murders swell the lists of pride;
When glory’s views the titled idiot guide.

Mary Shelley and Frankenstein’s monster: here.

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7 thoughts on “Britain: new poem by Shelley discovered: anti war, anti monarchy

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