An Analysis of Relation between Nature and Spirit in Ode to the West Wind

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When you venture outside of our urban society and visit the realm of nature, a unique transformation takes place. As the buzz and clamor of the cities recedes, and gives way to untouched earth, you can feel something change inside you. When you are experiencing nature, you can feel your spirit being lifted by the nature surrounding you. This is an interesting concept, and one Percy Bysshe Shelley was very fond of. Of him, John Simkin wrote that he sought in nature inspiration for much of his work. He found inspiration from wind rushing through a forest to write Ode to the West Wind. In this poem, he writes about the relation between nature and spirit. In Ode to the West Wind, Percy Bysshe Shelley uses the images of boyhood, the lyre, and driving his thoughts across the universe in parts IV and V to suggest the connection between nature and spirit.
Initially, Shelley used the image of his boyhood in Ode to the West Wind to connect nature and spirit. In part IV of the poem, Shelley makes a very good observation. “The impulse of thy strength, only less free Than thou, O uncontrollable! If even I were as in my boyhood, and could be The comrade of thy Wanderings over Heaven, As then, when to outstrip the skyey speed Scarce seemed a vision; I would ne’er have striven As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need. (Part IV Lines 46-52)” The wind makes him want to be a kid again, so he could be its companion, traveling wildly across the world. In relation, Antje Kurzmann says this. “The usage of the alliteration and the adjective “wild” in connection to the wind shows how the lyrical I sees the wind. The wind has to be something that is dynamic, moving, and active and may cause change.” Shelley makes the statement that the wind invokes hi...

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...o, next time you leave town, and head out to visit nature, think about this; that feeling you experience when looking upon nature and all its beauty is the very same feeling that Shelley felt once all those years ago. The spirit provided by nature inspires humanity to this day, and as long as we let it into our lives, it will continue to do so for eternity. After all, that spirit is scattered across the universe, like withered leaves.

Works Cited

Everett, Glenn. "Shelley Biography." Shelley Biography. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.
Kurzmann, Antje. "Analysis of Shelley’s "Ode to the West Wind"" Grin. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.
Pancoast, Henry S. "Shelley's Ode to the West Wind." N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.
Rudy, John G. "Romantic Circlesbeta." N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.
Simkin, John. "Percy Bysshe Shelley." : Biography. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

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