Shelley's Poem - The Flower that Smiles Today

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
A review of Shelley's poem

Submitted: March 03, 2007

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Submitted: March 03, 2007

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I was in my high school when I came across this poem by P.B.Shelley.It left some impression on me. It was only recently that I tried to see it in an optimistic sense, that we canlearn from the flowers. Their life is short, but they spread so much joy around them. We should live like them.

The poet himself really feels the same, and theversetapers to an optimistic note with a strange, rather mysticalending-- enjoy the delights, then wake up to weep.

The poem begins with the flower analogy-- a very terse statement-- the flower that smiles today dies tomorrow. The delights of this world are tempting but momentary. They do not last long. Consider lightening-- it delights us, but look at how brief it is, and how it seems to mock the sky with its sudden, bright onset and decay.

What we cherish in life -- love, friendship, virtue-- all are victims of their transitory nature. Love submits to pride, friendship to its rarity, and virtue to human weaknesses.

The following three lines are a bit vague-- they seem to say something like we ought to survive the fall of these virtues.

Soon,an optimistic notetakes over. Let us enjoy the brief moments, when flowers spread their joy, and the skies are blue and clear, and the lover's eye radiates love.

Yet, all this is transitory, and there seems to be no better choice than to preserve our beliefs, even though they may not last very long, like a dream. The end result would of course be the eventual waking up and realizing the true and transitory nature of this world.

If we enjoy the delights with true meaning, the end need not be a waking up to harsh reality. It may fill us with a warm, though sad feeling of having had good times, and having lived a good life. Easy to write, difficult to practise!

Visit my new personal home page - http://www.myvoice.in


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