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And on the pedestal these words appear: "And on the pedestal these words appear: "And on the pedestal these words appear: "And ...
Title text: And on the pedestal these words appear: "And on the pedestal these words appear: "And on the pedestal these words appear: "And ...


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Please expound upon this explanation.

Ponytail is reciting the opening of "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley. However, instead of continuing on with the poem, Ponytail is going through a recursion where the information is always being quoted from "a traveler from an antique land" who recounts what they were told by a similar traveler from another antique land. The title text once again plays with recursion, but instead of it being a string of travelers talking about travelers, it is a string of pedestals that are quoting pedestals. (In the original poem, the text on the pedestal is itself recounted as part of the traveler's story, so there are already two levels of quotation.)

The fact that Ponytail is now telling Cueball the story of this recursion implies that she is yet another layer of this recursion and is herself "a traveler from an antique land."

The quotes are not nested properly, as they never end. So there is only the starting quotation mark (") for each quote. If she ever finishes there would be one closing quotation mark for each quote in the recursion at the end of her sentence.

The poem "Ozymandias" is mentioned on pages 169 and 170 of the book Recursive Desire: Rereading Epic Tradition by Jeremy M. Downes.

Ozymandias Text

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."[1]

  1. Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ozymandias" in Miscellaneous and Posthumous Poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley (London: W. Benbow, 1826), 100.


[Ponytail is addressing Cueball.]
Ponytail: I met a traveler from an antique land who said: "I met a traveler from an antique land, who said "I met a traveler from an antique land, who said "I met ...

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