Sunday 25 July 2010


Percy Bysshe Shelley invented the word antenatal.

I bet you didn't know that.

It crops up in the utterly turgid and dull poem Prince Athanase. I have read it, dear reader, so that you don't have to. Basically, there's a prince and he's great and stuff, but like every second bloody romantic hero he's mysteriously sad. Nobody knows why.

Some said that he was mad, others believed

That memories of an antenatal life
Made this, where now he dwelt, a penal hell

Others believed that Shelley had talent, but needed a damned fine editor.

I remember that.

1 comment:

  1. The Antipodean, feeling minimalist,27 July 2010 at 11:52

    A penal hell, hey? As opposed to all them nice ones you get sent to as a reward.

    Nice use of bloody. It's on my 'Australian filler words list,' but it's so generic that I can't quite decided whether to keep it there or not. It works in association with other markers, I think.