Never mind all these beautiful historical dramas I want a modern day sit com about the Romantic poets like

  • Byron, Shelley, and Keats are roommates.
  • Byron is constantly a dick and Keats is constantly like “fight me” and Shelley is constantly exasperated. 
  • “I swear to God, George, if you even think about fighting him-”
    “Well he asked me to.” 
    “He’s also five feet tall.” 
  • Felicia Hemans lives across the hall from them and everyone thinks she’s really sweet because she bakes a lot and dresses conservatively but she is constantly lowkey throwing shade at everyone. 
  • Byron hates her because she’s better than him at everything. 
  • Mary Wollstonecraft also lives in their building and owns a lot of t-shirts with feminist slogans on. 
  • Every time she bumps into Shelley in the hallway he asks whether her daughter is coming to visit any time soon. He is much less subtle about it than he thinks he is. 
  • Byron frequently gets into flame wars with people on the internet. 
  • “George it’s 3am why are you still awake?” 
    Someone was talking shit about Pope.”
    “Not again.” 
  • At this point, Keats and Shelley have a script they can run through every time they open the door to a crying person asking why Byron never called them back. 
  • A running joke in which there is a loud noise every time someone says Shelley’s middle name correctly. 
  • Another running joke in which Byron and his sister constantly get mistaken for a couple. 
Although barely out of adolescence…[Shelley] was, in 1813, an ardent radical and anti-monarchist. Physically, he was rather odd, tall and slim to the point of limpness, with a high-pitched effete voice; but what he lacked in physical bulk he more than made up for in charismatic intensity. Among the earliest witnesses to this intensity were his school fellows at Eton, where he was sent by his landowning father when he was twelve. Initially he was bullied for his refusal to ‘fag’ for older boys, but the bullies soon discovered that in spite of his feeble frame, Shelley was not a boy to succumb quietly to taunts. On the contrary, he could be terrifying when roused, and was quite capable of reciprocal acts of violence. He stabbed one tormentor’s hand with a fork, and others remembered him as an almost unearthly creature, with flashing eyes, wild hair, and deathly white cheeks.
—  young romantics - daisy hay
We – are we not formed, as notes of music are,
For one another, though dissimilar;
Such difference without discord, as can make
Those sweetest sounds, in which all spirits shake
As trembling leaves in a continuous air?
—  Percy Bysshe Shelley, from “Epipsychidion”

Mary Shelley’s dressing case

Shelley kept relics of the ones she loved—collecting their hair in folded paper packets and treasuring the objects they used daily. Some of these are still in this case, such as this packet with Byron’s hair. The bracelet pictured here was made from Shelley’s own hair, cut from her corpse. Not here is Percy Bysshe Shelley’s heart, which Edward Trelawny claims he snatched from the fire cremating P.B. Shelley’s remains on the beach at Viareggio. According to family lore, the heart was given to Mary, who stored it in a copy of Adonais, the elegy Percy Bysshe wrote on the death of Keats. Some say she kept this book in her portable desk. I don’t know where her portable desk is, but the heart is said to have been buried with their son and the copy of Adonais is at the Bodleian, as is this dressing case.

Literature meme: [5/9] poems

‘To Night’ by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Swiftly walk o'er the western wave,
           Spirit of Night!
Out of the misty eastern cave,
Where, all the long and lone daylight,
Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear,
Which make thee terrible and dear,—
           Swift be thy flight!

  Wrap thy form in a mantle gray,
Blind with thine hair the eyes of Day;
Kiss her until she be wearied out,
Then wander o'er city, and sea, and land,
Touching all with thine opiate wand—
           Come, long-sought!

  When I arose and saw the dawn,
           I sighed for thee;
When light rode high, and the dew was gone,
And noon lay heavy on flower and tree,
And the weary Day turned to his rest,
Lingering like an unloved guest.
           I sighed for thee.

  Thy brother Death came, and cried,
           Wouldst thou me?
Thy sweet child Sleep, the filmy-eyed,
Murmured like a noontide bee,
Shall I nestle near thy side?
Wouldst thou me?—And I replied,
           No, not thee!

  Death will come when thou art dead,
           Soon, too soon—
Sleep will come when thou art fled;
Of neither would I ask the boon
I ask of thee, belov’d Night—
Swift be thine approaching flight,
           Come soon, soon!

Thanks to all of you fine readers for your patience and support. I have been looking forward to producing more of the regular content (including the puzzle.) I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief break while I was otherwise occupied. This upcoming Monday will be a return to form.

I invite you to look at the Kickstarter Campaign that my studio has launched to release art-books by its members. My work is one of the first six featured and, if you like what I do, this is a way to see more of it, including rare/unpublished pieces.