Friday, October 29, 2010

Who Needs Ashley Cole?

Imagine how much righteous indignation, how much radioactive sludge would be generated amongst the moral majority were this a current news item –
 Poet leaves his pregnant wife and child to elope with a seventeen year-old girl. He has a carriage waiting outside her door at four in the morning. Except he’s not only abducting one young girl, he’s taking her half sister too, who is sixteen. And their father is his friend. They race to Dover where they get passage in an undecked boat. There’s a storm. The boat almost sinks. He’s forgotten to bring much money with him. They have to walk to Switzerland with a half lame donkey. When he arrives in Switzerland he sends a letter to his wife telling her how happy he is, how much he values her friendship and invites her to come and live with him and his two new nymphs. There isn’t a smidgen of irony in his letter. You’ve got to hand it to Shelley. Were he alive now The Daily Mail and The News of the World would be baying for his blood on a daily basis. 


  1. Thought that was going to actually be about Ashley Cole then. How disappointing. It's okay though hubby bought me The Daily Star today cos it had Peter Andre was on it so I shall get my celebrity gossip elsewhere thank you!
    *turns and flounces*

  2. Tomorrow my blog is gonna be called Jordan
    And will be a fifty four page review and epistemological examination of antiquities dating from prehistoric times till the 15th century in the Jordan Archaeological Museum.

  3. Well, I guess at least he was consistent.

    My favourite verse of his is the one called 'Epipsychidion'. Mostly a simple exploration of the notion that love is - unlike material things - indivisible. Which he compares with imagination. But the first stanza ends with:

    '... with one chained friend, perhaps a jealous foe
    the dreariest and the longest journey go.'

    It's the most crushing indictment of marriage I've ever read. But I used to think: whither Mary in all this? He certainly had some cheek. And more than a few boyish weaknesses...