Friday, September 16, 2011


This morning while chatting on the NET with a  distant relative, we happened to discuss the hubris that envelopes man and woman when propelled by fate, design or by sheer intrigue on to a pedestal of aura, of wealth, of power. And it is  then the feeling of invincibility and infallibility engulf their psyche and persona, which leads to the belief of their omnipotence and immortality.

It could be the sum of wealth and the power wealth brings with it free; when lives of cognate and the ordinary beings that coexist is seen insignificant and of no consequence. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and irretrievably!

We both agreed about this queer nature that is found only in human beings, beginning from the dawn of man, whether one is a creationist or evolutionist.
Lives are trodden upon and the furtherance of material wealth and power irrevocably become the ambitions that drive them.The Kings of the past and the Neolithic ones of the present in different avatars are all perfect symbols.Even in today's world!

The sonnet crafted by Shelly in the 18 th century and later published as poetry is arguably the most evocative painting of verses about such men and women and what hold in store for them in the twilight of their imperious lives and the fate that will  befall their legacies.
In essence the poem refer to the Pharaoh, Ramsey-II . But it means sensible to all who are born.

This poem below is an outstanding and artistic lament of the end that he never saw and may have never thought of, where all his trappings were of no avail.Legacy in ruins!


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said. Two vast and trunk less legs of stone
Stand in the desert.Near them on the sand,Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stampede on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked 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 the level sands stretch far away.


Mélange said...

Well,makes sense Anil.Unfortunately we tend to forget.

While reading,I was recollecting Napoleon who, with all his power,which he thought was above anything in this world,couldn't make it to see his mother before death..

adithyasaravana said...

without getting ready for work, i am pondering upon this post..
gives me mixed thoughts..

If this grandeur is a dream,
so are my warriors and the palaces,
The words are a mockery now
which I do not live to see..
I lived a life of a king,
not a shred of mane persist
but the dream I lived was true
who cares when I do wake up..

from Yajnavalkya, sankara and others who professed about maya / illusion,which still makes me cringe at the thought, that whatever I feel, touch, do are an illusion..!?

probably bharathiyar who wrote a poem, questions this illusionary concept..
nirpathuvae, nadappathuvae, parappathuvae.. neengalellaam soppanam thaana? verum thotra mayakkangala?

those that stand, walk and soar..
are ye, the realms of a dream
or just the illusions of my vision?

he ends with..
naanum oar kanavo?
intha gnalam poi thaano?

am I a part of the dream?
is this world a bundle of lies?

I don't know whatever I write is relevant to your post.. but this is what which prompted me to write back..
probably Ozymandius did not live to see the parody of his words..
probably this post will be lingering..
probably this thought of invincibility led A Raja and kani to their present destinations
probably this privilege of infallibility which comes with amassing wealth gives reddy brothers the muscle to wrench and to change loyalties
probably this absoluteness of staying in power for 5 whole years has given PM to rust in the chair..

If she is angry at me for hurrying up later for work, all credit goes to you..Anil..

Insignia said...

When I was in 11th grade, I came across this poetry. I remember how these poem was analyzed line by line by my professor.

Its such an irony that the once invincible king of kings now lie among debris and in runis.

Did Ozymandias ever realize the mockery his own words would prompt? Does it teach others a lesson? Probably not.

KParthasarathi said...

A powerful post that sets one uneasy and makes one think about the ephemeral nature of all that we think is great and lasting.
Kurup Sir,it is a brilliant post and I am glad that I have started following your blog.
Saravanan is scintillating in his analysis.

anilkurup said...

@ Melange,

The poet chose a piece of example. And the Pharaohs were far powerful than Bonaparte.
Yes it may be true with Napolea as well, The same it is with many such ones.
The problem is that lessons are learnt late or we do not exist to see the outcome of our living our legacy.

@ AdityaSaravana,

The last part of your comment on the modern day Pharaohs said it all in example.

Illusion or dream I think they are woven together like web. aren't they? So what drives man, is it illusion or dream of the permanence of his being , his power his flame is all questions and answers too.

But just forget all that , stay at a distance and watch the verses the poet has crafted. Doesn't it give a most rattling picture of the aftermath?
Thanks for the well thought comments.

@ Insignia,

I do not believe that words and literature can change man. The change is mans volition, but the picture it gives ( the poem) cannot be avoided not seeing. It will come back at him like a bad dream, spitting venom. But man will still refuse to see.

K. Parthasarathi,

I'm humbled, by your comments and the poem. Thanks . Keep the discussion going.

Sandy said...

Arrogance of Power tends to lend itself to human nature maybe because We see within ourselves that which we desire to be, in the eyes of others.
We climb up the ladder until we sit at the top of everyone around us becoming in our own minds, omnipotent…..Many reasons ride the coattails of this one..

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

Your post reminded me of the Malayalam poetess sister Mary Beninja well known for her 'thottam kavithakall'. I still remember the lines which I was taught in school. The gist is; 'If the clever Caesar, the famous Homer and the peerless Solomon were taken away by the mighty time, why doubt about our fate'. I know that the spirit is not conveyed properly. I just hope that you might've read the original Malayalam version.

anilkurup said...

@ Sandy,

Yes you are right. And the Towers of Babel are still being a fascination .
The poem of Shelly , actually brings forth like in a movie the past splendour and the destruction, the story will repeat as long as these bipedal creatures are around.

@ Arun Meethale Chirakkal,

No I have not come across that piece. But even with the brief you have here about that, I'm sure it will make an interesting read.

Happy Kitten said...

Yes.. man refuses to see that money and power are only illusions and when the mighty falls, the fall is the worst.

and one does not have to travel to the ancient age... where is Mubarak and his offsprings? and so also his counterparts in neighbouring lands...

Balachandran V said...

"Pandithanaatte, paamaranaatte
Vannidum oduvil van chitha naduvil...

anilkurup said...

@ Balan,

Pompous , Rich or Lay, what lies in the end are visages that are pale and distant.