Scott Thurston reads Lines 236-268 from Act IV of "Prometheus Unbound" by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

In this installment, Scott Thurston reads Lines 236-268 from Act IV of “Prometheus Unbound” by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Thurston began writing in the context of Gilbert Adair's Sub-Voicive Poetry reading series and Bob Cobbing's New River Project workshops in London in the late eighties. After a first degree and a job teaching English in Poland, he completed a Ph.D. on Linguistically Innovative Poetry and Poetics. Currently residing in Liverpool, he lectures in English and Creative Writing at the University of Salford and edits The Radiator, a journal of contemporary poetics. His publications include: HOLD: Poems 1994-2004 (Exeter: Shearsman, 2006), Of Utility (Hereford: Spanner, 2005), Turns (with Robert Sheppard) (Liverpool: Ship of Fools/Radiator, 2003), Two Sequences (Sutton: RWC, 1998), Sleight of Foot (London: Reality Street Editions, 1996), Fragments (Norwich: The Lilliput Press, 1994), State(s)walk(s) (London: Writers' Forum, 1994) and Poems Nov 89 - Jun 91 (London: Writers' Forum, 1991).

Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound" (Act IV, Lines 236-268)

And from the other opening in the wood
Rushes, with loud and whirlwind harmony,
A sphere, which is as many thousand spheres;
Solid as crystal, yet through all its mass
Flow, as through empty space, music and light;
Ten thousand orbs involving and involved,
Purple and azure, white, green and golden,
Sphere within sphere; and every space between
Peopled with unimaginable shapes,
Such as ghosts dream dwell in the lampless deep;
Yet each inter-transpicuous; and they whirl
Over each other with a thousand motions,
Upon a thousand sightless axles spinning,
And with the force of self-destroying swiftness,
Intensely, slowly, solemnly, roll on,
Kindling with mingled sounds, and many tones,
Intelligible words and music wild.
With mighty whirl the multitudinous orb
Grinds the bright brook into an azure mist
Of elemental subtlety, like light;
And the wild odor of the forest flowers,
The music of the living grass and air,
The emerald light of leaf-entangled beams,
Round its intense yet self-conflicting speed
Seem kneaded into one aërial mass
Which drowns the sense. Within the orb itself,
Pillowed upon its alabaster arms,
Like to a child o'erwearied with sweet toil,
On its own folded wings and wavy hair
The Spirit of the Earth is laid asleep,
And you can see its little lips are moving,
Amid the changing light of their own smiles,
Like one who talks of what he loves in dream.

Authored by (Primary): 

Audio Author: 

Audio Categories: 

Parent Resource: 

Poets on Poets