Whenever real-estate bubbles pop, the words of Percy Bysshe Shelley are trotted out by lit-major columnists. Before it gets too hackneyed, here is the text of "Ozymandias" with images of Dubai and other former boomtowns.
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
Construction workers at Dubailand, a collection of theme parks and residences. Many projects within the complex have been nixed.
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
The Rossiya skyscraper in Moscow is on hold.
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
The developers of Tameer Towers, a waterside development in Abu Dhabi, have stopped construction, ostensibly a temporary measure.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Swire Properties has canceled a portion of The Village at Sanlitun, its residential and commercial development in Beijing.
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.