Archive for 26/02/2018

Interesting Literature

A critical reading of Percy Shelley’s poem

Percy Shelley (1792-1822) was, along with Lord Byron and John Keats, one of the second-generation Romantic poets who followed Wordsworth and Coleridge – and, to an extent, diverged from them, having slightly different ideas of Romanticism. ‘The Flower That Smiles Today’, sometimes titled ‘Mutability’ (though Shelley, confusingly, wrote another poem called ‘Mutability’) is one of Shelley’s most widely anthologised poems, so we thought we’d share it here, along with a brief analysis of its language and meaning.

The flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow dies;
All that we wish to stay
Tempts and then flies.
What is this world’s delight?
Lightning that mocks the night,
Brief even as bright.

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