Cast-Offs

I remember a cartoon from a long-ago MAD Magazine (back when it was still at least marginally funny) which depicted a young woman trying on an expensive dress.  When reproached about its cost, she said, “But it’s something that my daughter, and her daughter, can wear on their wedding days.”  And when it’s suggested she use her own grandmother’s wedding dress instead, she snaps:  “Oh, who wants to wear that old thing?”

Things pass, and the tragedy is that often what was beautiful, or majestic, or seemed destined for immortality, doesn’t end up that way.  And few better examples can be found than among magnificent ruins such as these.

…and these deathless words spring to mind:

I met a traveller 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.

Ozymandias, by Percy Bysshe Shelley

6 comments

  1. Look up Detroit deteriotion, or words to that effect; what you’ll find is chilling and horrid. Not that Detoilet is unique in this respect. Wonderful (subjective, of course) old architecture abandoned to rot. A metaphor for Western civilization? So sad.

    Damn that Trump! 😉

  2. Indeed magnificent but not quiet ruins…yet. Homes obviously show some in Italy were once very comfortable if not filthy rich, so what happened? Plus seventy years on, do they still blame iL Duce?

    Photos are visual potato chips – can’t just look at one. The collection brought to mind the entertaining but predictable film “Under the Tuscan Sun”. Perhaps the screenwriter or whatever spent time in Italy.

  3. Ozymandias, king of kings – the dark side of me loved this poem by Shelly, I look in awe at all of the ancient wonders of the world when my contribution to mankind for a stone edifice will be my local stone fire pit.

    That will be all…….

    1. “my contribution to mankind will be my local stone fire pit.”

      Heckuva note ain’t it!? You’re ahead of me though, brick BBQ I started 20-years ago is still but three-quarters finished.

  4. Czechia and Hungary have plenty of gorgeous old palaces, castles and chateaus taken from their owners by the rat bastard commies and left to rot.

    Many are being restored but many are too far gone.

    Fucking commies.

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