Web. 24 Mar. 2014. Pancoast, Henry S. "Shelley's Ode to the West Wind." N.p., n.d.
Percy Bysshe Shelley was the definition of a Romantic poet. His philosophical ideals emphasized the importance of aestheticism and his poetry clearly portrayed the beauty and majesty of the natural world. Like many of his Romantic peers, Shelley’s own life was short, tragic, and full of hardships. Drowned in a boating accident before the age of thirty, his one desire that his words would impact and inspire did not become a reality until long after his departure. In his poem, “Ode to the West Wind,” Shelley uses symbolism, simile, meter, imagery, and many other devices to present the power of nature and the speaker’s hope for this power to become part of him in his mission to bring about inspiration and transformation for creative processes.
“Ode to the West Wind” is a type of poem that speaks to the object or thing in the poem, instead of about it. Percy Bysshe Shelley honors and is constantly moved by the power of the Wind and its incredible role in nature. Using all his passion and inspiration, he wrote an ode dedicated to the Wind, expressing his feelings towards it and how he strives to be like the Wind. While the ode may seem simple at first, it allows Shelley to create a deeper meaning throughout his poem through his clever use of metaphors and personification. In “Ode to the West Wind” by Percy Bysshe Shelley, Shelley is inspired by the mightiness of the Wind, and through the use of romantic elements such as imagination and nature, reasserts the idea that inspiration can
Web. 25. Feb. 2012. Lancashire, Ian. “Commentary on ‘Ode to the West Wind’”.
He wants the wind to scatter his thoughts just as how the wind scatters the leaves and the clouds. The West Wind is portrayed as both a destroyer as well as a preserver. In the last stanza the wind is no longer used as an outside force he is trying to address but in fact the wind becomes a part and extended force within him. Therefore it can be clearly observed that though nature is the prime subject in all the three pieces of work it has been treated and responded to differently by each individual. The works of poetry are unique in their own forte and have thus stood the tests of time and appeal to us even today in this highly modernized and changed world.
Wordsworth had a strong sense of passion of finding ourselves as the individuals that we truly are through nature. Three poems which best agree with Wordsworth’s fascination with nature are: I Wandered as a Lonely Cloud, My Heart leaps up, and Composed upon Westminster Bridge. In I Wandered as a Lonely Cloud, Wordsworth claims that he would rather die than be without nature, because life isn’t life without it, and would be without the true happiness and pleasure nature brings to man. “So be it when I shall grow old, Or let me
. (Defence 817) In "Ode to the West Wind," Shelley implores the West Wind, a powerful force of nature that Shelley identifies with his rapidly-changing reality, to "lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!" He also expresses his almost-melancholy wish that he could be as I were in my boyhood, and could be The comrade of thy wanderings over Heaven (Ode 815) "Ode to the West Wind" invokes the attendant spirit from which Genius comes to grant Creativity also. "If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear," he pleads, "If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee" (Ode 815). In the fifth section, he begs the West Wind (which he identifies with himself early in the section) to Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth, Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Shelley was still reeling after the Peterloo massacre when he wrote this poem and the forces of nature used as imagery reflect the strength of his feelings. The poem begins with a vivid description of the wind and the importance of this imagery is emphasised by the alliteration, "WILD West Wind" and indeed the title of the poem. The capitalisation of West Wind again underlines the importance of this aspect of nature and even suggests personification or the divine. In Greek and Latin the words for wind, inspiration, soul, and spirit are all related. Shelley is using the West Wind to symbolise an inspiring spiritual power that moves everywhere and affects everything.