[ by Charles Cameron — an event in Kyiv, in which Lenin may remind one of Saddam… ]
I apologize for the bank which tries to hitch a ride on Ben Kingsley’s reading of Shelley here, but this is the best reading of Ozymandias I was able to find.
Shelley’s poem gives, I believe — in the context of recent events in Kyiv — some clarity to another well-known observation of his, in A Defence of Poetry:
Poets, according to the circumstances of the age and nation in which they appeared, were called, in the earlier epochs of the world, legislators, or prophets: a poet essentially comprises and unites both these characters. For he not only beholds intensely the present as it is, and discovers those laws according to which present things ought to be ordered, but he beholds the future in the present, and his thoughts are the germs of the flower and the fruit of latest time.
— or more succinctly:
Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.