Monday, 14 November 2016

Percy B. Shelley was an English Romantic poet born on the 4th of August 1792 at West Sussex, England. He died at the tender age of 29 years old on the 8th of July 1822 in Italy.

Ode to the West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley is a praise poem written to portray the sweetness of influence and power possession though many poetry analysts have suggested all sorts of motives. Some have claimed it's an elegy others have claimed otherwise; amidst diverse claims, what if Wikipedia has things to say?

Which brings us to the question: what does wikipedia has to say about the motive of Shelley in the poem "Ode to the West Wind"? The knowledge archive stood on the fact that the poet's previous poems (The Masque of Anarchy, Prometheus Unbound, and England in 1819) share the same subject opinion with the one on discussion
table. Wikipedia opines that_ since most of Shelley's poems have the themes of political change and role of the poet_ is of the believe that every poet should be the voice for societal change.

Are you hoping to find your favorite poetic devices in the poem? Yes, you can find many instances of metaphor, repetition, simile ("like flocks" in line 11), alliteration ("wide West Wind" in line 1), and personification ("the blue Mediterranean where he lay" in line 30), allusion ("Beside a pumice isle in Baiae's bay" in line 32), and many more in the poem.

In the poem, cloud, death, cold, dead, leaf, wave, autumn, etc are found multiple times in the poem. She desired to be part of the West Wind's instrument of change by saying "Oh lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud". Another thing of note is Shelley's inspiration which remains temporary awaiting rebirth and renewal. "The sense of renewal is captured in the image of the lyre. He calls on the West Wind to make him a lyre so he can recapture his poetic creativity. Other images in the poem are from spring and summer which prefigure the removal of the poet's inspiration and affirm in university."

Structurally, this nature ode is divided into five parts with each part having 14 lines (i.e. fourteen lines in five places make a total of seventy lines) the fourteen lines are in five stanzas where first, second, third, fourth stanzas consist of three lines each but the fifth stanzas are two lines. Not only that the end tone of the lines rhyme with each other, the lines are mostly pentameter.

Just the same way, John Keats chose inanimate over animate in his poem "Ode to the Grecian Urn". In terms of beauty, the Grecian urn is everlasting while human beauty is limited to time, aging and death. Percy Shelley also followed the same footstep. Beside the theme of nature and its powerful influence in the poem "Ode to the West Wind", the poem also shows that nature is better than human in terms of strength. Shelley so much envied the strength of the West Wind to the extent that he longed to be servant of the West Wind_ knowing quite well that he couldn't measure up in strength.


Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)


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