Ozymandias – Percy Bysshe Shelley: Breaking Bad

With the final installments of the hit TV show Breaking Bad looming, a teaser trailer was recently released in which the chief character Walter White recites Percy Bysshe Shelley’s famous poem ‘Ozymandias’. Fans of the show will understand why this thrilling poem was a remarkably apt choice for the storyline. However, if you don’t follow the show you can still enjoy the video as it does not reveal anything about the show itself – no spoilers and no confusion!

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”.


When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer – Walt Whitman: Breaking Bad

David Costabile played lovable loserĀ Gale Boetticher on everyone’s favourite show; Breaking Bad. (Maybe not everyone’s, but if you’re going to watch a show about a high school chemistry teacher who decides to start selling meth, it should be this one.)

Gale, a self-proclaimed nerd, is a lover of Walt Whitman, and one afternoon he recites one of Whitman’s poems to Walter White.

When I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

– Walt Whitman