15 de octubre de 2009

"Lift not the painted veil which those who live call life", Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread,--behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave
Their shadows, o'er the chasm, sightless and drear.
I knew one who had lifted it--he sought,
For his lost heart was tender, things to love,
But found them not, alas! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve.
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendour among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.

20 comentarios:

carmen dijo...

fifths, this sonnet inspired the title (and the novel?) "the painted veil". Do you understand it? read it post some comments and one friday we will do it together, it´s not easy, but beautiful, don´t you think?

MAR (5ºA) dijo...

I must say that for me it is not easy to understand the meaning of the sonnet.

After reading and re-reading it several times, I understand that along in the first lines the author talks about the world as an unreal world. Just like a film full of colors, and it makes people believe that it is a real one. He also speaks about two feelings (fear and hope).

Perhaps, we (people) tend to imagine an idealistic world but the true one is behind the veil.

I must continue reading and thinking about the rest of the sonnet.

Carmen dijo...

Quite a good effort, Mar. Can you identiey the proper subjunctive?

Rebeca Av2 dijo...


I´ve found the sonnet interesting too, but I´m afraid that its contents are very difficult for us, the students, due to not only its style of writing, but also to its hidden meanings.

However, I also belive it is talking about an unreal life, that one which everyone would like aspire to. Nevertheless, and for me, this text has a negative sense, since it wants us to realise how black the live can be. Don´t you think so?

MAR (5ºA) dijo...

I think that the proper subjunctive appears in the following sentence.-

... though unreal shapes be pictured there...

marta dijo...

Hi Mar and Rebeca, I´m very glad you are posting your comments! I think the poem is beautiful, the Romantics are unique,and a little difficult too which makes it more interesting! I didn´t know the title had been inspired by this poem very interesting.
I´m sure you will enjoy your 5th year now you are at the TOP! Good luck and work hard

Carmen dijo...

Mar, very well done, that is the Proper Subjunctive. Rebeca, which is your group? Not mine, surely because my students are in 5ºA, you see, we are trying to stick to the level, we disregard the year you are in, ok? As to your comment, well, nobody says it is easy, because it is not, but don´t you find it interesting? As to being tragic, don´t you think it is? Take this point of view: We cannot succeed, our end is death, thus it is not very promising, is it? however what else is it about?

English EOI Getafe dijo...

Hello, dear all! It's michelle! Sorry to post here! We've just befriended you at YouTube! We have uploaded our second video, to fight for the C1, and we thought it'd be interesting to be connected in some way, so people finding our videos can find yours and viceversa! Here, check your own YouTube Channel or ours at http://www.youtube.com/englisheoigetafe
Gotta rush! Bigh hug! :)

MAR (5ºA) dijo...

Marta, thank you very much for your words. You are right, we must work hard, but nevertheless, it is also possible with enjoyment. For example now.

The more I read the second part of the sonnet the more "familiar" the words become.
It also speaks about things to love, beauty, illusions, disillusions through that man who was searching for the truth. I love the way it describes that man´s feelings after lifting the veil.

Susana Av2-A dijo...

Even it’s not easy it’s being a wonderful exercise to find out the real meaning of this sonnet, and to share comments with you.

According the sonnet the veil shows a world nicer than the real one. This probably means that life is easier if the veil is kept down.

I’ve read and read the second part of the sonnet. It tells us about the loneliness and hopelessness of the man who risked lifting the veil, but I can’t guess what “the splendour among shadows, the bright blot” refers to. Is it something that the world contains?, or, does it refer to the man who lifted the veil?. If someone in the blog understands it properly, please tell me.

MAR (5ºA) dijo...

Susana, in my opinion, those sentences refer to the man who lifted the veil. And it adds that the man was a soul, he was fighting, he was looking for the truth, but he didn´t find it. (As the preacher). I have been thinking about this last conclusion. As Carmen said: "we cannot succeed, our end is death", so, that conclusion maybe means that we will die when death comes.

Try to read it again and again. I did, and now I find it lovely.

Susana Av.2-A dijo...

Thank you Marta, probably you're right. But now the sonnet becomes really tragic, perhaps the Spirit (the soul) can't find anything but the "only" truth, the death.

I also wonder if the Preacher (with a capital P) is a particular preacher or any preacher. It could be connected with other poem.

I agree with you, as much as I read it, more I like it.

Jesús Fernández de Vera dijo...

It was difficult to understand the meaning of this sonnet. Carmen said the other day something interesting about making out the meaning of this sort of poetry. It doesn´t have to do with the separate meaning of the words, and you usually have it straigh at the seventh time you read it.

Jesús Fernández de Vera dijo...
Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.
Jesús Fernández de Vera dijo...

At the beginning, the author writes about the sense of blindness the human usually have. We are distracted by unreal colored shapes, but reality is always behind them. After that, the real world is described in a very distopic way, as somewhere dark and frightening, in where love and tender have no place.

It seems that somebody (I wonder if he has to do with a religious thing, like a prophet, or maybe he is just a jongleur) struggles to advice the humanity about the real life behind the veil. His knowledge and fight for truth lighted the shadows of that awful wold, but he finally could not success.

María Jesús 3D dijo...

I've just read the sonet "Lift not the painted veil..." and it's difficult for me to understand its meaning; I hope that we should do it in class. I think that the subjunctive is in the second verse: "... be pictured there", and it is a proper subjuntive (I think).
I've been looking for more forms of subjunctive in The Times, but I havent found it yet.

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