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The Wit and Wisdom of Percy Shelley 

Percy Shelley, writing in the early 1800s, considered poetry to be a hopeful art, a force of exaltation, social change, liberty, and truth.  Quite politically mindful, he had much to say about society and reform, as well.  Shelley died at age 29.




In the motion of the very leaves of spring in the blue air there is found a secret correspondence with our heart.  There is eloquence in the tongueless wind...


The distinction between poets and prose-writers is a vulgar error.



Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted...A Poet is a nightingale who sings in darkness.





Poetry is a sword of lightning ever unsheathed which consumes the scabbard that would contain it.



The savage brutality of the populace is proportioned to the arbitrary character of the government.



Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world; it makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar...



The tragedies of the Athenian poets are as mirrors in which the spectator beholds himself, under a thin disguise of circumstance, stripped of all but the ideal perfection and energy which every one feels to be the internal type of all that he loves, admires and would become.



...Corruption must utterly have destroyed the fabric of human society, before Poetry can ever cease.



All of the above quotations belong to Percy Bysshe Shelley.



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