Deviant Login Shop  Join deviantART for FREE Take the Tour

:iconmeic2: More from meic2

More from deviantART


Submitted on
June 22, 2004
File Size
1.2 KB


5 (who?)


This must be the place:
here is the requisite reek of rank antiquity
and the shattered symbols
signify the roots of old religions
inextricably intertwined
and hating it.

The debris desert extends
to the eye’s furthest range;
formed not by ages,
grit-ground to dust,
but rubbled in a second’s shocking blast:
rising heat lends a molten mirror
to soften the shards,
and dust shrouds hide the dead
and bury hopes.

Limbs are there, trunkless to be sure,
without stone’s strength to stand,
broadcast like bitter seed on rocky ground.
And faces too, gore-ridden, slashed and torn
amid the toppled town
where no towers nose the air
and no sunshone windows wink and stare.

The scattered chiselled words of Ozymandias
Lie wide-strewn and mute: though
the heedless mighty, authors of despair,
take recreant refuge in distant lands.
Once, hard-carved words on stony ground -
but this time, in no time at all,
with a voice not unlike a rocket’s whine,
Ozymandias sings.
.... with acknowledgement and apologies to Shelley.

Plus ca change, plus ca la meme chose ....
Add a Comment:
grind-the-rust Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2008   General Artist
magnifiscent, what can i say?
effortless flow and rhyme, an interaction with the ideas and comments of the poets of previous generations, excellent evocative imagery and a vocabulary used naturally and with grace - one that does not seem to be sourced entirely from a thesaurus.
I may be slightly biased, being a crazed Shelley fan, but you have elaborated upon an idea and expressed a sentiment remarkably well in this piece.

*adds to favourites*
DeirdraChaeli Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2005   Writer
wow... your poetry never fails to amaze me. The images, gory though they are, have an odd lyrical imagery to them. The ideas of weakness, of inextricable roots... wow. I'm absolutely awed.
meic2 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2005
Thank you: I don't post many 'political' pieces - in fact I think I've only submitted 4 in total - though I've sent others to Poets Against the War.
limnersphere Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2004
It is about time I comment on this as that it has been sitting in my DevWatch for a long time and that I have stopped by to read it about oh 7 times now. I have seen many different interpretations on each read but it basically comes down to this: The pride and folly of man and the clash of the modern world with old traditions. I have to ask does this work address the event that happened year ago when the Taliban destroyed the ancient (and I believe the oldest but don't quote me on it) statues of Budda that were standing on the borders of Afganistan just because they were religious icons representing a religion other than theirs? The first two reading I had of this piece was from that approach.

And btw since this poem has caused me to revisit it again and again (and that Ozymandias is one of my favorite poems) it will go in my :+fav: folder.
echo-si Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2004   Writer
I still love the way you write.
meic2 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2004
For information:

OZYMANDIAS [by Shelley]

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.
dr-d Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2004
Stunning! The imagery created here is breathtaking.
Sadly I don't know the piece by Shelley... will have to look for that.
meic2 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2004
Thank you my friend :)
deejbard Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2004
powerful stuff, my friend. a thousand innocent voices are cut short every time the Ozy's of our contemporary world 'sing'.

reminds me of a response i once wrote to Housman's "Terence, this is stupid stuff" -- much better and more meaningful than mine, of course, but kin in the response to a classic.
meic2 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2004
... 'tis sadly true , and thank you
Add a Comment: