Shelly, throughout the poem, appeals to the west wind to destroy everything that is old and defunct and plant new, democratic and liberal norms and ideals in the English society. He praises the wind, referring to its strength and might in tones similar to the Biblical Psalms which worship God. I bleed! The poet offers humility in the hope that the wind will assist him in achieving his quest to “drive [his] dead thoughts over the universe.” Ultimately, the poet is thankful for the inspiration he is able to draw from nature’s spirit, and he hopes that it will also be the same spirit that carries his words across the land where he also can be a source of inspiration. Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread . He wants the wind to blow this trumpet. Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind! Every single person that visits PoemAnalysis.com has helped contribute, so thank you for your support. Each like a corpse within its grave, until The speaker invokes the “wild West Wind” of autumn, which scatters the dead leaves and spreads seeds so that they may be nurtured by the spring, and asks that the wind, a “destroyer and preserver,” hear him. In the second stanza, the wind blows the clouds in the sky. One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud. In ancient Greek tradition, an odewas considered a form of formal public invocation. Without death, there is no rebirth. He looks to nature’s power to assist him in his work of poetry and prays that the wind will deliver his words across the land and through time as it does with all other objects in nature. Thank you for your equally amazing feedback. Just like the wind swept away the dead leaves of the Autumn, the speaker calls for the wind to sweep him away, old and decaying as he is. Shelley combines the t… For whose path the Atlantic’s level powers. As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed Here, the speaker finally comes to his request. What if my leaves are falling like its own! Ode to the West Wind Explication Percy Bysse Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind is a dramatization of man’s useless and “dead thoughts” (63) and Shelley’s desire from the Autumn wind to drive these “over the universe” (65) so that not only he but man can start anew. He says, “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” O hear!" The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low, By comparing the wind to an enchanter, Shelley imbues the wind with magical powers, suggesting it is grander and more significant than just ordinary wind. This means that most of the lines contain five sets of two beats. He is asking this spirit to hear his pleas. The majority of ‘Ode to the West Wind’ is written in iambic pentameter. It occurs several times in ‘Ode to the West Wind.’ For example, the transition between lines two and three of stanza one, canto one as well as lines two and three of stanza three, canto one. "Wait a minute," we hear you saying. GradeSaver has a complete summary and analysis readily available for your use in its study guide for this unit. Than thou, O Uncontrollable! Be thou me, impetuous one! I think this is a really good take on Canto 2 stanza 4 of the poem – we get the gist of what you are saying and think there is enough evidence to include it in the above analysis, so we added with this enlightened interpretation – thank you for the great comment! Read the Study Guide for Percy Shelley: Poems…, An Analysis and Interpretation of Allen Ginsberg's America, The politics of Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind", The Danger of Deranged Appetites: When Hunger Hijacks Existence, View our essays for Percy Shelley: Poems…, View the lesson plan for Percy Shelley: Poems…, Read the E-Text for Percy Shelley: Poems…, View Wikipedia Entries for Percy Shelley: Poems…. These are also called homostrophic odes, as a consistent meter, line length, and rhyme scheme is … Sweet though in sadness. This is particularly evident in the first stanza where all the lines are irregular. He realizes that for this to happen, his old self would be swept away. Subscribe to our mailing list and get new poetry analysis updates straight to your inbox. O thou, Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead The use of the word “azure” or blue, to describe the wind is in sharp contrast to the colors used to describe the leaves. The latter is an interesting device that is used when the poet’s speaker talks to something or someone that either can’t hear them or can’t respond. I fall upon the thorns of life! The speaker says that each is like a corpse “until” the wind comes through, taking away the dead, but bringing new life. That's sort of the general gist of it. The simile works on two levels: Visually, the dying, fading leaves bring to mind the gossamer, colorless form of ghosts; and symbolically, the dead leaves represent the past, the end of a season. The speaker asks the wind to “drive [his] dead thoughts over the universe” so that even as he dies, others might take his thoughts and his ideas and give them “new birth”. Thou dirge. Remember, this is the being that was also described as having hair like angels. The odes of Pindar were exalted in tone and celebrated human accomplishments, whereas the Horatian odes were personal and contemplative rather than public. Because of the speaker’s tone throughout Ode to the West Wind, it would make sense if this was the speaker’s own personal trumpet, marking the end of his life. The sapless foliage of the ocean, know. Each stanza is fourteen lines in length, using the rhyming pattern of aba bcb cdc ded ee. The tumult of thy mighty harmonies. He describes the dead and dying leaves as “Pestilence stricken multitudes”. The speaker describes the deathly colors “yellow” “black” and “pale”. The Question and Answer section for Percy Shelley: Poems is a great Freedom will grow, no matter what obstacles there may be, and Shelley's words will help it grow. The poem addresses the question of what the role of the poet is in enacting... See full answer below. Keeping in mind that this is an ode, a choral celebration, the tone of the speaker understandably includes excitement, pleasure, joy, and hope. Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre The speaker then describes the wind as the bringer of death. The sea, here, is also personified. Shelley draws a parallel between the seasonal cycles of the wind and that of his ever-changing spirit. ODE TO THE WEST WIND BY P.B. Considered a prime example of the poet’s passionate language and symbolic imagery, the ode invokes the spirit of the West Wind, “Destroyer and Preserver,” the spark of creative vitality. It is necessary for the circle of life to progress. The poet is directing his speech to the wind and all that it has the power to do as it takes charge of the rest of nature and blows across the earth and through the seasons, able both to preserve and to destroy all in its path. The poem ends optimistically: "O Wind, / If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?" This drives him to beg that he too can be inspired (“make me thy lyre”) and carried (“be through my lips to unawakened earth”) through land and time. It’s as if the leaves have been infected with a pestilence or plague, that makes them drop en masse. Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams This refers to an interlocking rhyme scheme. Ode to the West Wind Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone, Prenderà da entrambi un profondo, tono autunnale, Sweet though in sadness. Again, this stanza reflects a Psalm in the worship of a God so mighty that nature itself trembles in its sight. Thy voice, and suddenly grow grey with fear, Just a heads up, great analysis, but in the first analysis of Canto 4, Stanza 1, you wrote He things instead of He thinks… also in Canto 2 stanza 4, a sepulcher is like a Christian tomb – the fact the Shelley in the poem is asking for death in a way may suggest that he wants this storm to seal his tomb that night in nature with all the power it can muster (to take him away from the miseries in his life at present and to be one in nature) as he then declares an epic burst of rain fire and hail? Of the dying year, to which this closing night Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow. He wants the wind to blow this trumpet. TONE Of forward motion appropriate for the physical nature of the wind and appropriate in foreshadowing the end of the poem, which looks forward to the spring. Oh! Poetic Symbolism Romantic poetry often explores the symbolism of everyday objects or phenomena, such as … Quivering within the wave’s intenser day. He then mentions his own childhood. Each of the five sections of "Ode to the West Wind" — has the form of a sonnet In a striking simile the poet compares his words to — ashes and sparks from a fading fire What's your thoughts? Here, the speaker finally brings his attention to himself. A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share. He imagines what it would be like to be a dead leaf lifted and blown around by the wind and he implores the wind to lift him “as a wave, a lead, a cloud!” The speaker sees the wind as a necessary evil, one that eventually means that spring is on the way. But then, partway through the second line, a shift occurs. Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. Alliteration is a common type of repetition that appears when the poet repeats the same consonant sound at the beginning of words. Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere; The speaker then explains that the storm approaching is the impending doom of the dying year.