Skip to content

Boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away.

Boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away. published on 2 Comments on Boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away.

I really like that goddamn poem.

I met a traveler 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 shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d 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.

I had an argument a year or so back with one of PSU English faculty that the poem would have been better all around if everything after the word remains had been omitted. There’s nothing there, after all, so why does the poem keep going? And her rebuttal was that the form and meter of the poem required those extra few lines. I still maintain that they’re redundant lines, but apparently, there’s not much call for editors to fix classic poems. This is probably a sign that society is fundamentally broken and on the verge of utter collapse.

The Ozymandias of this comic hasn’t built his statue yet, though, so stay tuned.

2 Comments

I can see your point, but if you look at it, the pedestal describes not just the man but his vast and mighty works. “nothing beside” is more mysterious, I guess, but the “lone and level sands” is more visual and specific, like a traveler telling a story. It’s not a Buddhist koan; it’s set design.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Primary Sidebar