After Reading Ozymandias

After reading Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias’ in bed,

My lashes fluttered, eyelids closed,

So I lay down my weary head.

In vivid dreams the poet took me by the hand:

I was the traveller in an antique land.

He led me across the expansive desert, showed me

In a distant place two vast and trunkless legs of stone,

And nearby another relic that chilled me to the bone:

Half sunk in sand, a shattered face, a sneer

Of cold command in its wrinkled lip and frown,

And on the pedestal, below the statue’s feet,

The name of Ozymandias, King without a heart.


© Kim M. Russell, 2016


Image found on

My response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver #87 September 29th Lost in a Foreign Land

Michael has asked us to weave a tale in which you as a traveller are lost in a foreign city and you find help from an unlikely source. I have taken words and phrases from Shelley’s poem in a ‘found’ poem of my own.


19 thoughts on “After Reading Ozymandias

  1. Your poetry is top shelf. I am in awe of your work….and all of it. I want to come back and just ‘bathe’ in your words. They are inspirational, haunting, a fever of imagination. Beautiful, beautiful, I can’t pick a favorite of yours because they are all so stellar. You are a poet of my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. That’s just what I need. I’ve not long come off an on-line chat for a poetry course I’m doing and feel a bit tender after some fairly heavy criticism . But I think I’ll be all right in the morning, take it on the chin and use it to improve my poem.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Kim…years ago, I was in a very exclusive writing group. The queen bee there wrote books that were sold in airports. In my opinion, they were as common as cockroaches. I remember her criticism of my work: it was brutal, nasty, etc. I left that group after a few months because that was not an encouraging or nurturing group. We can come across these people over and over, and what I have learned…is that we have to have confidence in our own work. Sure, we must and do improve, and that takes time. But there are people out there who call themselves poets and aren’t. They are super critical and shouldn’t be allowed to lead. This woman went for the gut: she was wedded to personal insults, all framed in ‘constructive’ criticism. You have to be careful.

        We need to take stock of where we go , what groups we join. The short story this queen bee in the writing group brutalized? It has won awards, royalties, etc. LOL! But I had to listen to my own gut on this. This group disbanded and disappeared. I don’t find her name on any books in airports now. LOL! What I am trying to say is this: any group that makes you feel lesser, demeaned, uneasy, and makes you feel so through your writing, is something to be avoided. Sure, there are great groups out there: d’verse is one of them. I have been around them a couple of years ago, but they seem to be smaller and that can be very good. More concentrated. Some sites just exist for the ego of a few. I think you are doing great. Your verse just sparks such interest in me.

        Liked by 1 person

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