percybyssheshelleyIn 2010, I covered the story of a Percy Bysse Shelley poem, lost for two centuries, that reappeared when someone noticed a copy of it in an antiquarian bookshop—then disappeared when a private collector bought it and declined to publish it. Happily, all it took was the march of a little more time for that situation to get straightened out. Michael Rosen of The Guardian writes that, after nine years of campaigning, the Oxford’s Bodleian Library managed to acquire the poem and make it available to all in its entirety, including the full text of the verses and the accompanying essay. It has even been posted online, undoubtedly delighting many scholars of English poetry.

Ironically, given how long the Rosen had campaigned to make the poem available, the article then does not post the complete poem, nor does it even drop in a link to either the Bodleian Library’s site or to where the text of the poem was published to the Internet—in a competitor, The Independent. Given that the poem is by now in the public domain, it’s a bit odd that the paper doesn’t post the whole thing itself after its writer crusaded for so long for it to be made available. But maybe they just didn’t have the digital column-inches to spare…


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