Percy Bysshe Shelley: A Vision of the Sea (985 words)

  • Kirsty J. Harris (Anglia Ruskin University)
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P. B. Shelley’s “A Vision of the Sea” is a fragment of a poem, left intentionally unfinished. It tells the story of a devastating shipwreck, from the storm that caused it to the aftermath in calmer waters. According to Mrs Shelley’s notes, the poem was “composed at Pisa early in 1820, and published with ‘Prometheus Unbound’ in the same year. A fair copy in Shelley’s handwriting is included in the Harvard MS. Book, where it is dated ‘April, 1820’” (Shelley 596).

The opening lines give an image of terror and destruction:

’Tis the terror of tempest. The rags of the sail
Are flickering in ribbons within the fierce gale:
From the stark night of vapours the dim rain is driven, <…



Citation:
Harris, Kirsty J.. "A Vision of the Sea". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 January 2015
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=35238, accessed 21 November 2017.]


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