Ode to the west wind by Percy Bys s he Shell e y
Ode to the west wind
"Ode to the west wind" is an ode written by Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1819 near Florence, Italy and published in 1820 by Charles and Edmund Ollier in London. The poem coveys Shelley's passion for revolution, its strength and potential through the west wind. Shelly received the inspiration for writing this poem when one day in the fall the strong wind swept down from the Atlantic through the landscape of west central Italy. The poet is directing his speech to the wind and that has the power to control the elements of nature (waves, clouds, leaves) and has the ability to preserve and destroy seas. Shelley is the speaker of the poem and wrote it in inland, in a forest on the Arno river. Shelley wants his poetry to change the world and man, he also wants to liberate man from religious and intellectual slavery. This poem will be analyzed critically according to the themes, tone, figures of speech and form.

This poem is about the inspiration Shelley draws from nature and links this effort for change with his own spiritual and creative vitality, because he sees "the west wind" as a force for change. "The breath of autumn being" is Shelley's atheistic version of the Christian Holy spirit. Shelley focuses his praise of nature around the wind's role in the various cycles in nature - death - regeneration - "preservation". The poet is asking the strong wind to help him in his works.
Another theme presented is the power of nature which was symbolized in the "west wind ". Shelley refers to the power of the wind as a force greater than man. Contrasting the immortal power of nature with man's mortality "Oh lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud. I fall upon the thorns of life, I bleed" - "the impulse of thy streangth only less fear than thou. O, uncontrollable".

The tone is a persistent one. The speaker calls to the west wind as if he was addressing wind to become part of power, and to take the inspiration to his poetry. He is an optimistic person in this poem for his ambitions go beyond traditional life to the metaphysical achievements. The poem ends on an optimistic notion where the poet sees the dawn after the night or the spring after the winter heralding an era of joy after misery "If winter comes can spring be far behind".
Figures of speech:
Alliteration: "wild west wind" line1
Simile: "drive my dead thoughts over the universe like withered leaves to quicken a new birth" line63,64 - comparison of thoughts to withered leaves.
Paradox: "destroyer and preserver" line14
Apostrophe, personification: "o wild west wind"
Throughout the poem the speaker is addressing the wind as if it is a person and ask the inspiration from it.
Metaphor: "the winged seeds … low" line7 - comparison of seeds to flying creatures.
Metaphor/personification: "her clarion o'er the dreaming earth" line10 - comparison of earth to a dreamer.

The poem contains 5 stanzas of 14 lines each. Each stanza has 3 tercets and a couplet. Shelley wrote the tercets in a verse called terza rima . In this format line 2 of one tercet rhymes with lines 1 and 3 of the next tercet. The couplet rhymes in iambic pentameter. And the rhyme scheme is ABA BCB CDC DED EE. The use of terza rima rhyme scheme creates an impression of fast movement which reflects the movement of the wind.

As a conclusion, although seasons change and bring sadness to some, it is still important to carry an optimistic and hopeful outlook of life and we should always have something beautiful to look forward to.