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This Week in History
August 3-9, 2014

Birth of Percy Bysshe Shelley

August 4, 1792

Percy Bysshe Shelley

This week we celebrate the birth of Percy Bysshe Shelley, the English poet who was born on August 4, 1792 and who died, too young, on  July 8, 1822.  This poet and philosophical writer was a master of irony, and as, Mr. LaRouche has often pointed out, the conclusion of Shelley's paper "A Defense of Poetry" is the real essence of actual political processes:

"Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present; the words which express what they understand not; the trumpets which sing to battle, and feel not what they inspire; the influence which is moved not, but moves. Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world."

These 2 articles provide some background: Percy Bysshe Shelley and the Motivführung Principle in English Poetry and The Reawakening Of Classical Metaphor

In "The Question Before Us" in 2010, Mr. LaRouche explains

"...the discovery of physically efficient principles occurs as Albert Einstein identified this, in the instances of Johannes Kepler's uniquely original discovery of the principle of the planetary orbit, and the subsequent, uniquely original discovery of the general principle of gravitation (contrary to the Isaac Newton hoax), as in Kepler's The Harmony of the Worlds, or in the discovery of the principle of least action by Pierre de Fermat, or the great discovery of Bernhard Riemann in his 1854 habilitation dissertation, or the fundamental Seventeenth and early Eighteenth centuries' contributions of Gottfried Leibniz.

"A comparable case of the principle of human creativity, is the development of the concept of well-tempered counterpoint by Johann Sebastian Bach. The concluding paragraph of Percy Bysshe Shelley's A Defence of Poetry, is a highly relevant sort of comparable case, as it is also an extension of Gottfried Leibniz's discovery of the principle of physical dynamics into the rightful domain of Classical artistic composition.

"In brief, man is not the subject of mathematics; rather, competent application of mathematics is a subject of that principle of the human creativity which governs physical scientific progress, but whose natural habitat is Classical musical counterpoint and poetry, the domain of the ironically creative powers of a Leibniz, a Riemann, a Vernadsky, and an Einstein, powers which distinguish the human mind from the domain of the beasts.

"The connection of what is identified as the relationship of the spiritual power of Classical expressions of individual human creativity, to successes in progress in economic processes, points to a factor of practically adducible, personal immortality in the legacies of great scientific minds and Classical poets alike..."