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,
Round the decay Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Alliteration: there is nothing like it for drawing your attending to things and when you layer in threes the rhythm of the phrase is undeniable and memorable.
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Destroyed by time
Written for a competition. Sonnet 14 lines of iambic pentameter. Rhyme scheme which starts strong but breaks down towards the end just like the statue (is that deliberate or am I just no good at rhyme? Doesn't matter examiners love that stuff.)
Volta: Turning point The poem starts by telling us about an important landmark in the desert. The important landmark is all that is left of an important kingdom. It is described in detail. We are asked to speculate about the artist who crafted the statue. The we are told that there is nothing around it but an empty desert which implies that soon nothing will be left. However we do still have the poem so is Ozymandias erased from history?
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