Ode to the West Wind

Topics: Stanza, Poetry, Wind Pages: 3 (1062 words) Published: January 12, 2012
The Summary of P.B. Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind
Published in 1820, P.B. Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind, is a poem which allegorizes the role of the poet as the voice of change and revolution. Shelley realizes that he cannot in actual life, rise to the height of imaginative perfection, which was his dream. But it is his bold optimism that he invokes the West Wind to blow the clarion call to the ‘unawaken’d earth’ and to sow the seeds of hope of regeneration.

The poem begins with three stanzas describing the wind's effects upon earth, air, and ocean. The last two stanzas are Shelley speaking directly to the wind, asking for its power, to lift him like a leaf, a cloud or a wave and make him its companion in its wanderings. He asks the wind to take his thoughts and spread them all over the world so that the youth are awoken with his ideas. The poem ends with an optimistic note which is that if winter days are here then spring is not very far.

The poem begins with the poet’s apostrophizing the west wind. The poet uses the epithet ‘wild’ for the West Wind to refer to the untamable, swift, proud, fierce and impetuous spirit of the West Wind. The poet calls it the sustaining air of the autumn season. It is this violent wind which with a rush sweeps and strips off leaves from trees like ghosts escaping away from the spell of an enchanter. The West Wind rushes through the wood like a living river bearing dead leaves, pale, yellow, black, hectic red which are badly affected by epidemic. The Wind like a chariot drives them until they lie down on their winter bed and are covered with snow. It drives the ripe autumnal seeds underground where they lie buried like dead bodies in a grave during the winter season to shoot forth into plants of coloured and fragrant flowers over plain land and hills as soon as Zephyr, ‘azure sister’ of the Spring spreads its vivifying influence over nature. The poet then calls this wild spirit, ‘Destroyer and preserver’ as it destroys...
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