Shelley — A Forgotten Form of Sleep

Photo: Pete Swan (click to enlarge)

From Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Triumph of Life, I. 427-431, his incomplete, final poem. The poem explores notions of life and death, and hope and despair, where ‘life’ is stifling and domineering and its ‘triumph’ is subsequently debilitating. Instead, Shelley advocates ‘dreams’ for their possibilities and connection to the imagination, and in the above lines, he combines this idea with light imagery in order to question our very existence and all the elusive things we seek.


What They Wrote is where I share my favourite literary quotes in image form, seasoned with a sprinkle of commentary. This photo is courtesy of the lovely Pete Swan.

Byron, Brokenly

Photo: Pete Swan

From Lord Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto III, l. 287-8. Here, Childe Harold is quite the Byronic hero: intelligent, perceptive, arrogant, but full of sorrow.


What They Wrote is a (new) feature where I share my favourite literary quotes in image form. This photo is courtesy of the lovely Pete Swan.

[Texts in Time] Caedmon and his Hymn

Once upon a time (i.e. in the 7th Century), there lived an Anglo-Saxon fellow called Caedmon, who one day decided to play with words in order to praise his God. Finding he liked the sounds of his little creation, he orally passed it on to his friends and family, who also liked it and told all their friends and family. A few decades later, another fellow called Bede ended up liking Caedmon’s Hymn so much that he decided to write it down. And so, one of the earliest recorded poems in the English language was, well, recorded.

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