Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Great Regulars: The "desert"--not sand, of course,

but the rocky Alpine wastes--seems ultimately mysterious because no human has left an imprint there. The hunter responsible for the "bone" carried off by the eagle is not human--it may well be the wolf of the following line. These images of rapacity no less than the shapes of the outcrops themselves seem to give rise to the exclamation: "How hideously . . ." Again, when Shelley personifies the formation of the mountains, he alludes to destruction rather than creation: "ruin" is all the "Earthquake-daemon" has taught her young.

from Carol Rumens: The Guardian: Poem of the week: Mont Blanc by Percy Bysshe Shelley


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