I know this is not sonnet, but can somebody give me a summary of Ode to a Skylark by Percy Bysshe Shelley, as well as Shelley's Ozymandias?
A summary and discussion of "Ode to a Skylark" is found here:
A summary and discussion of "Ozymandias" is found here:
Ozymandias: It is a poem about vanity of human greatness and the failure of all attempts to immortalise human grandeur.
The poem relates an experience of a traveler fro Egypt who saw two huge and trunk less legs af a statue in the midst of desert. Near them lay, half buried, the broken face of the statue. On the face can still be seen the expression of haughtiness and a sense of authority which had been skillfully depicted by the sculptor. They survive yet. On the pedestal of the statue the following words were inscribed: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings; Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Its suggests he was the greatest king of all kings of his time and he had accomplished such works that nobody could equal. There was a vast desert full of sands all around the statue stretched far.
Here in the poem the poet refers to "an antique land" means ancient country. Thus he points out at Egypt whose civilization is one of the oldest in the history of the world. The speaker is a traveler and whatever he sees is nothing but demolition of human's achievements which is considered as sufficient to immortalize. He does not know that time is greater than his greatness. Over the earth nothing is immortal and yet out of ignorance King Ozymandias tamed such a blunder.
A skylark, as Shelly says, is not a bird but a "blithe spirit" which pours forth rich and spontaneous music from the ether region. It soars up higher and higher into the sky singing all the time. The poet says that it sings while soaring and soars high up while singing. It becomes invisible in the golden lights of the sun.Though like a star at day light the bird becomes invisible, yet its joyous music is audible. During day time the moon is not visible to us and yet it is there in the sky and we can feel its presence. In the same way, though the bird is beyond the range of vision of man, its presence can be felt because of its song.
At night, the skylark's song fills the air like the moon rains out her beams.The skylark is like a poet hidden in the light of thought, a poet whose outpourings inspire people to reflect on hopes and fears that they previously ignored. It is like a lovesick maiden in a palace tower: Outsiders cannot see her, but they can hear her song of love. then the poet compares skylark to a glow worm in a meadow. It remains hidden in the flowers and grass and its presence is not known to us. Skylark is like a rose which is concealed from sight by the leaves around it but its existence is revealed to us by the sweet scent with which it fills the air.
Skylark's song is such that even the happy songs of marriage and the joyous songs of victory are inferior to it. The poet remarks that the source of the skylark's inspiration is unknown. The bird is ignorant of cares abound in the earth. The skylark seem to have truer and deeper knowledge of the mystery of death than human beings. That is why such melodious music flows from the throat of the bird so spontaneously.
Then the poet goes on to say that there is a touch of sorrow in human being's merriest laughter as they yearn for the impossible. Their sweetest songs are the songs of sadness. Human beings will never experience such intense joy even if their life would have not been so ugly.Shelley says that if he had experience half the joy of the skylark, he could have composed poems as sweet and irresistible as the songs of the skylark. There is something unique about the skylark's ecstasy.