Summary of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Poet’s Dream

The Poet’s Dream is a poem written by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Summary

The Spirit whose dwelling-place is the dim cave of human thought slept in the cradle of the lips of a poet. The poet’s respiration, sweet and fragrant as it was, acted as a lullaby to the spirit. There he dreamt sweet dreams as one who is versed in the lore of love might dream.

The poet does not find, nor does he care to have, the joys of this world of realities, because they fail to give delight to his mind; but he finds his joy in his world of imagination, which he peoples with aerial beings in whose company and in whose caresses lies all his delight.

The poet will gaze from early morning to sunset on the reflection of the sunlight on the bosom of the lake shedding its lustre on the golden bees that feed on the flowers of the ivy; but because his business is not to copy nature, he looks even at such beautiful objects of nature in a heedless manner.

He need not perceive the actual sights and sounds of nature; for out of his half-heeded, vague impressions, he is able to create an ideal world of beauty, full of things that are less unsubstantial than human beings and not liable to decay and death.

These immortal creations, the airy nothings to which he gives a local habitation and a name, are bequeathed to posterity and are cherished forever. Hence, they are more real than earthly things, and they are immortal.

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