Shelley a poet between England and Tuscany and his legend


Percy Bysshe Shelley and legend around his heart


There is an old and cultural bridge that connects England to the Tuscany’s coast, especially the Versilia coast. But this is not a normal bridge between two cities twinned, but there is something of special and suggestive behind the history of this ancient relationship.

In fact the legend tells that the famous British poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, after being drown in the sea off shore of Versilia coast, he was sailing on the Tuscany’s sea ( Viareggio ) but his death officially protected him in the immortality.

On 8 July 1822 the boat where the poet was sailing shipwrecked and the Shelley’s body was found only ten days after on the beach. On 16 August the cadaver of the poet was cremated but it seems that the Shelley’s heart survived at the flames and that is still intact kept in a unknown place along the Versilia coast.

The life of this famous poet, belonged to the Literally movement of Romanticism, has been always eventful and irregular. Although he has grown up in a noble family of Sussex and studied at Oxford he was not interested to the academy life and among his university colleagues Shelley was judged as strange, for this reason his eccentric attitude has brought at the result to be expelled from Oxford.

Probably the strong that emerges from his poems is the result of his tormented and irregular life. He has been acknowledged like one of the major English Romantic poets and is regarded by some as among the finest lyric, as well as epic, poets in the English language.

The legend around his intact heart is as well famous as his main works, the Shelley’s heart is still hided in an unknown place of the Versilia coast but his literature is still alive into our minds. However I would like to pick up the opportunity to do a short summarize of his main works in fact Shelley is perhaps best known for such classic poems as: Ozymandias, Ode to the west wind, To a Skylark, Music when a soft voices die, The Cloud, The Masque of anarquy.

Ozymandias has been written for celebrating the recent acquisition, by British Museum, of a large fragment of a statue of Ramesses II from the thirteenth century BC, In antiquity, Ozymandias was a Greek name for theEgyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II. Shelley began writing his poem in 1817, soon after this announcements, thus he took clearly inspiration by this important fact acquisition.

Ode to the west wind begins with three sections describing the wind’s effects upon earth, air, and ocean. The last two sections are Shelley speaking directly to the wind, asking for its power, to lift him like a leaf, a cloud or a wave and make him its companion in its wanderings. He asks the wind to take his thoughts and spread them all over the world so that the youth are awoken with his ideas. The poem ends with an optimistic note which is that if winter days are here then spring is not very far.

To a Skylark was inspired by a walk of Shelley and his wife. While the poet and his wife Mary were walking in a place near Livorno, Italy, during that summer evening of 1820, the couple heard the song of a Skylark. That event touched the sentiments of Shelley that decided to write a poet about the“meeting” had with that skylark.

Music when a soft voices die was published as “To—” in 1824 under Miscellaneous Poems in two stanzas of four couplets each containing four lines in Posthumous Poems. The theme of the poem is the endurance of the memories of events and of sensations.

The Cloud is a poem that takes inspiration by the famous Greek poem entitled “The Metamorphosis of Ovidio”, in this work Shelley wants to highlight the cycle of the life. In “The Cloud”, Shelley relies on the imagery of transformation or metamorphosis, a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth: “I change, but I cannot die.” mutability or change is a fact of physical nature.

The Masque of anarquy it’s the most political poem in fact has been written after the Paterloo Massacre in Manchester 1819, Shelley in this work begins his poem with the powerful images of the unjust forms of authority of his time “God, and King, and Law” – and he then imagines the stirrings of a radically new form of social action. From this point he develops a poem entirely dedicated at the theme of politic and government.

These are only a part of his literary production, although Shelley died very young, at the age of twenty- nine years, he wrote a lot and the philosophy that he put in his works is still kept alive like the legend of his immortal heart.