Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Love’s Philosophy”

Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Love’s Philosophy”

Finally got around to doing a woodblock print of Percy Bysshe Shelley who died in a boating accident at the age of 30. Looking at photos and pictures of Shelley in preparation for the woodblock, it really hit home how young he was when he died and gave me a greater appreciation of the maturity of his poetic voice and vision.  A copy can be ordered at www.poeticexpressions,etsy.com

         LOVE’S PHILOSOPHY
           Percy Bysshe Shelley

The fountains mingle with the river
     And the rivers with the Ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix for ever
     With  a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single:
     All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
     Why not I with thine? –

See the mountains kiss high Heaven
     And  the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
     If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth
     And the moonbeams kiss the sea.
What is all this sweet work worth
     If thou kiss not me?

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3 Responses to Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Love’s Philosophy”

  1. kvennarad says:

    What has always impressed me about Shelley is his versatility. Maybe that is an inapposite word – his range, then. His work is firmly ‘romantic’ (by which I mean the artist’s consciousness is central), but he can give us something as wild an intense in emotion and image yet totally controlled in form as ‘Ode to the West Wind’ on the one hand, and something gentle and personal as the poem you have quoted above. He can give us spitting vitriol ‘… an old, mad, blind, despised, and dying king…’ on the one hand, and the controlled, subtly layered, feinted objectivity of ‘Ozymandias’.

    M
    __________
    Marie Marshall
    author/poet/editor
    Scotland

    • Yes, his range is indeed impressive – even extending into the political with poems like the one you quoted from ( “England in 1813” ) and “Men of England,” and all at such a relatively young age. Also, I found your definition of romantic enlightening. Someday, I will come to Scotland to pay my respects to Robert Burns and pay tribute to him by reciting Keat’s “Sonnet Written in the Cottage Where Burns was Born”.

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