Sunday, August 4, 2013

Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ozymandias," and "Breaking Bad"

Today is the birthday of Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Today is the birthday of Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), the moody and short-lived poet of the Romantic era. I thought that would be interesting enough for a blog post, but in my search on the internet I found that his most famous poem, "Ozymandias"is featured in the trailer for the last season of Breaking Bad, which is starting soon.

I've never seen an episode of Breaking Bad, though I understand that people are crazy about it. I'm completely out of touch when it comes to T.V. shows, at least since the last episode of The Sopranos, and I've never watched even a minute of  Deadwood, Dexter, Friday Night Lights, Game of Thrones, Girls, Parks and Recreations, Boardwalk Empire, How I Met Your Mother, Homeland, The Walking Dead, The Killing, or Star Trek in any of its iterations. You name it, I probably haven't seen it. This trailer is the most exposure I've ever had to Breaking Bad, and I'll admit that it's a pretty impressive minute and eleven seconds.


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."

I also found this bizarre reading of the poem by Sir Ben Kingsley, brought to you by the Union Bank of Switzerland.

1 comment:

  1. That preview is amazing. The poem a'int bad either.