Friday, October 21, 2011

On the Death of Gaddafi

Not Gaddafi

Gaddafi: a petty desert dictator, shot down,
the Internet makes his brutal slaughter its own.
Primping despot with massive ego
-- no one mourns to see him go!

Inspired by "Ozymandias"

Some say the desert dictator was shot
in the skull with his own gold pistol
by a kid in a Yankees baseball cap.

The lone and level sands stretch on and on.

Western leaders and media pundits vied
to press the flesh of the tainted officer
who primped in medals and comic braid.

His wrinkled lip, his sneer of cold command.

So used to ordering death with the swish
of his fly whisk, oasis-emperor dragged
from his sewer hiding-place like a rat.

Look on his works ye mighty and despair.

Christopher T. George

Shelley inversion

"Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)

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,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

The picture above the great poet's sonnet is a color inversion of a portrait of Shelley, an image perhaps more suited at this time of the year to his wife, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. You can read about Mary Shelley's unhappy life through the title to this blog posting.

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