Stephy's Reviews > Immortal Poems of the English Language

Immortal Poems of the English Language by Oscar Williams
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it was amazing
bookshelves: classics, poetry, social_commentary, spirituality, survival, currently-reading-again

This has been an ongoing "Currently Reading" book in my collection since I owned the first, 1952 edition. Every now and them it falls to pieces and I get a new copy. Many of my favorite poems are in here, the ones I memorized in childhood to recite before dinner, the ones that comforted me during bad times in childhood, the ones Mama read when Father died. I read some of those same ones to my nephew when my mother died, and earlier this year, when my younger sister died suddenly, I chose poems to read at her memorial service.
It was from a volume of this name that I learned Shelley's OZYMANDIAS

I met a traveler 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 shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd 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.

One of my all time favorites, Ozymandias was another name of Ramesses the Great, Pharaoh of the nineteenth dynasty of ancient Egypt.

Lots of my favorites in here, and a nice addition to an library.
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Reading Progress

July 2, 2008 – Shelved
July 2, 2008 – Shelved as: classics
July 2, 2008 – Shelved as: poetry
July 2, 2008 – Shelved as: social_commentary
July 2, 2008 – Shelved as: spirituality
July 2, 2008 – Shelved as: survival
Started Reading
June 27, 2009 – Finished Reading
July 27, 2011 – Shelved as: currently-reading-again

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Aimee (new)

Aimee I remember reading "Ozymandias" as a college freshman in Lit class. Sad that for all his grandiosity, these days the name "Ramses" is better known (by some) as a brand of prophylactic.

Stephy Vast Cultural Wasteland. Point well taken. All the bright people are using them, the dummies don't: behold the zooming birthrate of mediocrity. Frightening.

Magdiel A. What do you think of The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost? I can't make complete sense of it. I know but I don't understand. What's the deeper meaning?

Stephy The most succinct way to explain is to say that the choices we make shape our lives, and our choices are often better choices for us than the more popular ones. "I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."

My choices must be MY decisions, popular or not. Occasionally I may wonder what the more traveled road might have been, but I did the right thing for me.

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