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Tony Grist

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Hellas [Aug. 17th, 2019|05:32 pm]
Tony Grist
I've been reading Shelley's Hellas- once to get the gist of it, a second time to feel its power.

The year is 1821. The Greeks are in revolt against the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish Sultan receives news of defeats and victories- and struggles with the knowledge that however many he kills and however many times his armies win, he and his tyranny belong to the past- and a new world- a greater Hellas- is struggling to be born.

The verse teems with abstractions and coruscates with images of natural forces- earthquake, storm and fire. I have held Shelley at a distance for a long time- ever since adolescence in fact. Suddenly I find him timely.

The world’s great age begins anew,
The golden years return,
The earth doth like a snake renew
Her winter weeds outworn:
Heaven smiles, and faiths and empires gleam,
Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.

[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2019-08-17 06:11 pm (UTC)
Very timely.
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[User Picture]From: dadi
2019-08-17 06:44 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-08-18 09:53 am (UTC)
Shelley was wised up to the circularity of time.
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[User Picture]From: puddleshark
2019-08-18 08:57 am (UTC)
Shelley is very timely, what with the 200th anniversary of Peterloo. (Strange, incidentally, that there should be no formal events organised to mark that anniversary - we're usually so good at commemorating our wars..)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-08-18 09:51 am (UTC)
A stamp would have been good- or a coin.

There was some sort of commemoration in Manchester. I saw it on the news. Senior representatives of Church and State were conspicuous by their absence but Danny Boyle was there.
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[User Picture]From: puddleshark
2019-08-18 11:47 am (UTC)
Ah. Better him than Boris. The irony would have been unbearable.
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