Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

The Poem from “To Rome With Love”

posted by Nell Minow

In Woody Allen’s new film, To Rome With Love, characters describe an “Ozymandian melancholy.”  That is a reference to the poem “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley.  It is the story of a man who describes an enormous ancient statue that is all broken and decayed.  Hundreds, maybe thousands of years before, an arrogant king had the statue erected to show that his power and fame would never die.  But today, he is not even remembered.  The “Ozymandian melancholy” refers to the sense that all accomplishment, all happiness, all existence is fleeting.  Setting the film in a city that is filled with ancient artifacts underscores this theme.

Advertisement

 

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Marc

    Many thanks for your very useful explanation, which gives the key to the movie.
    Marc

    • Nell Minow

      My pleasure, Marc!

  • http://www.doudouneenfant.com Rica

    Its good to know about it, now I barely understood it. I love Ozymandias for a name, I just wonder how to pronounce it.

    Rica

    • Nell Minow

      Thanks, Rica! It’s Ozzie-mun-dee-us

Previous Posts

The Transporter Refueled
It must be said. The refueled "Transporter" is very low octane. The original had some of the best chase scenes ever filmed and a ...

posted 5:34:15pm Sep. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Learning to Drive
Katha Pollitt's wry but bordering on scathing essay about taking her first driving lessons in her 50's, after her partner of seven ...

posted 3:25:11pm Sep. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Tribute: Dean Jones
When the sad news came about the death of actor Dean Jones, those who remembered him most fondly mostly fell into two separate groups with not much overlap. Many baby boomers remembered him as the eternally fresh-faced star of Disney films like ...

posted 2:20:21pm Sep. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: The True Story of "The Man Who Saved the World"
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAAky4iJcsQ[/youtube] Many feature films have imagined what would happen if a real or apparent nuclear attack precipitated war. None of them came close to the real-life story told in this documentary ...

posted 11:53:03am Sep. 03, 2015 | read full post »

What Screen Time Does to Developing Brains
As kids go back to school, it's a good time to establish some rules about screen time.  My recommended rules are below. This is increasingly ...

posted 3:55:33pm Sep. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.