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Ode to the West Wind Stanza 1 Essay

  • Submitted by: idreamdreams
  • on April 15, 2015
  • Category: English
  • Length: 656 words

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Below is an essay on "Ode to the West Wind Stanza 1" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Explain with reference to the context
“O Wild Wind, thou breathe of Autumn’s being,
...

… Hear, oh hear!”

The lines are taken from Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind”, written in 1819 and published in 1820. These lines make up the Part I of the poem. It was written “on a day when that tempestuous wind, whose temperature is at once mild and animating, was collecting the vapours which pour down the autumnal rains.”
The poet begin by invocating the West Wind and calling it the breathe of Autumn. Even though we cannot see the West Wind, it silently drives the dead leaves away like ghost. It carries the winged seeds and implants them in the soil - to their “graves”, where they rest until the spring wind awakens them to growth, blooming forth and the whole earth becomes alive with new life again. The West Wind serves as a manifestation of spiritual or supernatural energy, associated with breath, respiration and inspiration, having the ability to gives breathe to the dead. The leaves in autumn are usually beautiful and but in the context of the poem, these leaves instead carry a negative, even frightening connotation, as Shelley compares them to a crowd of sick, fleeing ghosts. The speaker also make an analogy between buried corpse and the buried seeds.
Personifying the West Wind, the poet describes its activities both as a destroyer and preserver on land. The west wind is a destroyer in the sense that it destroys all that is useless including the old and rotten leaves of trees during the autumn season. The west wind is a preserver in the sense that it preserves the seeds and buries them underground so that they may remain safe during the winter season.
In the context of the poem, the west wind serves two purposes. Firstly, it is the force responsible for killing the leaves and the plants, it ushers in the fall/winter which is the end of the season for everything in bloom, thus it can be seen as a negative. But simultaneously, the wind is also the most positive...

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