Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Men of Letters, This Time a Romantic Poet and a Brilliant Satirst

I have a tendre for dear Percy and a great admiration for the clever Peacock.

Percy Bysshe Shelley by Alfred Clint

Percy Bysshe Shelley is for me, the truest of romantics. His works are ripe with his talent and spoke of a genius born out his search for elusive ideal. The silly thing could have been said to be in love with being in love but his misery made for stunning poems. He was meant for a different time, perhaps 1969 when free love reigned for our dear Percy did not understand sexual possessiveness. He eloped with Harriet Westbrook when he was nineteen and she sixteen only to elope with Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin while still married to Harriet. He was a fellow plagued with bad judgement who came to a tragic end shortly before his thirtieth birthday. Percy's work is worth knowing.

To a Skylark
by Shelley

...Like a glow-worm golden

In a dell of dew,

Scattering unbeholden
Its aërial hue
Among the flowers and grass which screen it from the view:
Like a rose embower'd
In its own green leaves,
By warm winds deflower'd,
Till the scent it gives
Makes faint with too much sweet those heavy
wingèd thieves...

Thomas Love Peacock by Henry Wallis

Thomas Love Peacock who satirized both Byron and Shelley in his brilliant Nightmare Abbey, his style of writing is so gorgeous and highly original I often pray he was still alive so I could badger him into revealing his secrets. His novel was written as conversation set around a large dining table in a country house. The text is loaded with humour, witticisms, and near genial satire. He had a great deal of affection for Shelley. That much was evident even in the roasting/lampooning nature of the text. In fact, Peacock counted on Shelley’s good nature for support once the novel was published. Shelley did not disappoint. No such kindness was extended to Byron to the point he was damn near cruel. These words he credited to Byron, whom he cast as Mr Cypress in his manuscript and there is no doubt it was meant to sting.

“Sir, I have quarrelled with my wife; and a man who has quarrelled with his wife is absolved from all duty to his country. I have written an ode to tell the people as much, and they may take it as they list.”

My love, my care,


  1. Shelley is truly one of my favourite poets but I have to confess that I am not too familiar with Peacock. I will have to go and be educated!

    Best wishes to you this Valentine's week,

  2. I do love satirical writers me.

  3. Thank you SO much for you brilliant post!
    I has´nt now about those intersting peoples in the world!-)

    I like to read you blog always!

    With love and care,


  4. I love the way the words flow together as one... spinning his dream like tale to us...

  5. I love your thought that Shelley would have been better off in the 60s! So very true - can you imagine him writing beatnik poetry? :)

  6. Don't hate the player, hate the game....

    Oh, Percy...but what lovely poetry.

    Thanks for the introduction to Peacock. I'm surprised I don't know him given my background in literature. But I'm always up for new discoveries ;)

  7. Shelley is great, but didn't have the greatest of judgement.


  8. I love poems :)
    Made me feel all better

  9. The golden flow worm ah, lighting up the night.

    I want to write brilliantly, too! LOL! :-D

  10. Aloha Simone,
    it is such a treat for me when I visit you. I am always delighted with your ability to not just open up a window, but all the doors and windows into such a lovely place in time for me.
    It is a gift and I am graciously honored to be one of the many recipients...
    all my Aloha

  11. Never heard of Peacock or read anything by him but I will remedy that soon!

    Percy B. Shelley - j'adore!

  12. I just like the name...Thomas Love Peacock. Someone with such a moniker would have to view the world with a great sense of humor ;)

    Thanks for sharing, Simone.

  13. Wow! Shelly was quite the playboy...Great post Simone.

  14. Great post and interesting as always.

  15. My thanks to each of you for spending some of your time here with me, I glad for the company.
    Warm regards and a BIG Hug for all.
    My love,

  16. Out standing and super exciting post, i really loved it. Thanks for the sharing.....

    Sample Letters