I read a Facebook post on January 11 of this year announcing that it was the 200th anniversary of the day The Examiner published Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem, “Ozymandias.”
I had to look up the pronunciation. Several folks say Ah-zee-mahn-dee-us. Others say Ah-zee-man-dee-us. But some say to fit the meter of the sonnet, the name should be scrunched into four syllables—something like Ah-zee-man (or mahn)-jis.
I’ll bet you thought I knew what a sonnet was, right? I can never remember, so I had to look that up, too. Count the lines (14). Count the syllables (10). Notice the rhyme scheme (abab). Check out the infographic.
Come back to Ozzy. I read the poem through a couple of times and then set off to follow not a few bunny trails. One blogger wrote that the poem “is so famous that it really needs no introduction.” If that’s the case, how come the first I heard of it was maybe six months ago when my life coach included it on a list of poems she thought I should tuck into my heart? Did I fall asleep during high school English? Did my college friends memorize it while I was memorizing the 12 cranial nerves in nursing school?
Continued over at Tweetspeak Poetry…
—Percy Bysshe Shelley