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Portable Poetry


Shelley is one of the most revered figures in the English poetical landscape. Born on the 4th August 1792 he has, over the years, become rightly regarded as a major Romantic poet. Yet during his own lifetime little of his work was published. Publishers feared his radical views and possible charges against themselves for blasphemy and sedition. On 8th July 1822 a month before his 30th birthday, during a sudden storm, his tragic early death by drowning robbed our culture of many fine expected masterpieces. But in his short spell on earth he weaved much magic. The Witch of Atlas was composed in the summer of 1820 whilst Shelley attended the San Guiliano Baths near Pisa. The central character of this light hearted visionary rhyme, the Witch creates a sexless creature of both male and female form who becomes her companion in her travels, adventures and pranks on humanity. Mary Shelley wrote that The Witch of Atlas "e;is a brilliant congregation of ideas such as his senses gathered, and his fancy coloured, during his rambles in the sunny land he so much loved."e;

Fr. 16.20