The Cloud Background

The Cloud Background

The Cloud” is a poem composed by one of the most well-known poets in history, Percy Bysshe Shelley, sometime between 1819 and 1820. The work would be published in a volume which also included the poet’s lyrical drama Prometheus Unbound in 1820. (Worth nothing is that Shelley’s wife, Mary, had published her famous novel in 1818: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.

The process of composition was apparently quite complex and complicated as the verse underwent several different drafts before Shelley was satisfied enough to submit for publication. The editing process was apparently worth the effort as “The Cloud” has gone to be considered one of his major short works of verse. An 1821 review of Prometheus Unbound: A Lyrical Drama, in Four Acts, With Other Poems which appeared in The London Magazine particularly singled out “The Cloud” as a singular example of the talent of Shelley.

Almost exactly a century, “The Cloud” was still reigning high in the public consciousness of the public, as manifested by a meeting of media. A short film was produced which sought to bring the words of Shelley to life in the exciting new technology of the cinema. Matched to the words of “The Cloud” were black and white images of the sky and land below.

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