Utena - Shelley poem

Percy Shelley’s poem “Invocation to Misery” is not particularly good, if you ask me. But in the context of Utena, it is easy to see Anthy as fitting Shelley’s personification of misery, especially in the first four stanzas that I reproduce here. Read the complete poem if you like.

There’s no shortage of stronger Shelley poems. I’m fond of To Night, and others are easy to find.

Come, be happy!—sit near me,
Shadow-vested Misery:
Coy, unwilling, silent bride,
Mourning in thy robe of pride,

Come, be happy!—sit near me:
Sad as I may seem to thee,
I am happier far than thou,
Lady, whose imperial brow
Is endiademed with woe.

Misery! we have known each other,
Like a sister and a brother
Living in the same lone home,
Many years—we must live some
Hours or ages yet to come.

’Tis an evil lot, and yet
Let us make the best of it;
If love can live when pleasure dies,
We two will love, till in our eyes
This heart’s Hell seem Paradise.


Jay Scott <jay@satirist.org>
first posted 18 December 2022