Shelley was born in 1792 in Sussex, England and was the so of a rich landowner. He was educated at Eton and Oxford. For the independence of his thoughts, he was expelled from Oxford and disowned by his father. In 1818 Shelley left England for Italy where he lived for the rest of his life. He was always ready to fight tyranny. On 8th July 1822, he was drowned when his boat was caught in a storm. Ode to the West Wind is a poem addressed to the west wind. Ode is a poem addressed to a person, a treasured object or even to a God. Odes are usually in rhyme and seldom longer than 150 words.

1. 2. Shelley personifies the west wind and gives it an independent character. He personifies the Mediterranean sea and the Atlantic ocean. They are so forcefully imagined that they become like real persons.


1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

West wind as a symbol of destruction as well as preservation. It destroys dead leaves but preserves the seeds. A destroyer of old order and preserver of new order. West wind is symbol of mourning, when it passes through the forest its sound is melancholic. Hence Shelley calls it the ‘dirge of the dying year’ The west wind symbolizes Shelley’s own personality. As a boy he possessed the same qualities as the west wind, he has swift, proud and uncontrollable. For the poet it s a symbol of aid and relief to him in his distress. Finally it is a symbol of powerful influences and forces that will herald the Golden Age of Mankind.

Lali Mathew M.A.M.Ed

D.A. 564

Sh Bagh 27492907


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Like a ghosts form the enchanter fleeing. Each like a corpse within its grave. Loose clouds like earth’s decaying leaves are shed. Like the bright hair uplifted from the head. One to like thee –timeless and swift and proud. Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth. Buds like flocks to feed. Like the bright hair lifted. As from an unextinguished hearth ashes and sparks.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. Breath of autumn’s being. Hectic –red, pestilence-stricken multitudes. The winged seeds Azure sister of the spring. Destroyer and preserver. Sky’s commotion Angels of rain and lighting. Thine aery surge. The locks of approaching storm Dirge of the dying year. Dome of vast sepulcher. Congregated might. Atlantic’s level powers. A dead leaf. A wave to pant. Uncontrollable Comrade of thy wanderings. Deep autumnal tone. Trumpet of prophecy. Make me thy lyre. Tangled boughs of Heaven and ocean. The locks of approaching storm.

1. 2. 3. 4. Lali Mathew M.A.M.Ed Wild west wind. Baiae’s bay Grow gray with fear Skiey speed scarce seem’d a vision. D.A. 564 Sh Bagh 27492907 9810312549

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38.

What season of the year is being mentioned in the poem? How do the leaves behave in this season? What is the dirge? How? What is a sepulcher? How does the Mediterranean appear under the influence of its stream in summer? What are Pumic isle and Baiae’s bay? Who grows gray with fear and why? How does the poet want to be lifted? By whom? How was the poet in the past? Whose mighty harmonies is the poet talking of? Who is the impetuous one? Why does the poet want its spirit to be his spirit? What is meant by ‘new birth’? Why are the seeds called winged? Explain: Each like a corpse within its grave? Who will blow her clarion? What will the clarion do? What are the tangled boughs? Which are the angels of rain and lighting? What is being compared with Maenad? How? How is the approaching storm described? How was the poet in his boyhood? Whose comrade the poet wants to be and why? What is the poet’s sore need? Whose lyre does the poet want to be? How? What does the poet mean by: ‘my leaves are falling’? Why do the leaves have various colours? What effect does it have on the seeds? Why has the west wind been called a preserver and a destroyer? Why has the night been described as a sepulcher? What effect does the west wind have on the Mediterranean Sea? What effect does the west wind have on the underwater plants? In what way was the poet, in his younger days, like the west wind? How does the poet want the wind to make him into a lyre? What optimism does the poet convey in the last two lines? Why is the west wind called the ‘breath of autumn’s being’? How are the dead leaves driven away? Why does the poet refer to the leaves as ‘pestilence-stricken’ ‘Are driven, like hosts from an enchanter fleeing’ What is the figure of speech.

39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79.

How is the west wind like an enchanter? What is a clarion? What does the poet mean by the word ‘chariot’? How is the west wind compared to the chariot? What fills the plains and hills with colours and fragrance? Why are the clouds compared top leaves? How does the west wind cause rain? What is a dirge? Why is the west wind so called? How has the night been described as a sepulcher? What power does the west wind have over the ocean? Why do the underwater plants fear the wind? Why is Baiae’s bay a beautiful sight? Where is it? What effect does the west wind have on the Atlantic? What are the thorns of life? How can the west wind lift the poet? What does the ‘azure sister of the spring stand for’? Whose sister is it called? What happens when the East wind blow? Who is called the destroyer and preserver? Why? In what state does the blue Mediterranean lie in summer? Who comes to wake it? What do you understand by ‘Pumice isle’ and’ the way’s intenser day’? What did the west wind see in sleep? What is the effect of the west wind on the Atlantic Ocean? What kind of a boy do you think was the poet in his childhood? How does the poet feel now? What does he feel so? What is the poet’s appeal to the west wind? What all is snapped and from what by the west wind? What does the west wind call ‘angels of rain and lighting? Why are they called so? Explain the locks of the approaching storm? What would the west wind do when the poet becomes its lyre? Why are the leaves referred as dead? ‘Pestilence-stricken multitude’ means? Where do the winged seeds lie? How do they reach there? What will happen to the dormant seeds once the East wind sister of west wind blows her clarion? What will happen as all the clouds are gathered by the wind? What does the west wind symbolize? How has the Mediterranean been awakened? What does the Mediterranean see in his dreams? What is overgrown with azure moss and flowers? Why does the poet call the west wind as a destroyer and preserver? What is the effect on the sea blooms and oozy woods? Why do the sea bloom of the ocean suddenly grow gray? What is the effect? Describe the action of west wind on water? According to the poet what are the special features of the West wind?

80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100. 101. 102. 103. 104. 105. 106. 107. 108. 109. 110. 111. 112.

What does the poet say, ‘only less fee’? Who is he talking about? The poet wishes to be free of life’ burden. Identify the phrase that expresses his desire to escape –‘the thrones of life’? Why does the poet say he used top have strength like the west wind has? Now how does he describe himself? How does the poet compare himself to the forest? Why does the poet call the wind ‘impetuous’? How will the deep autumnal tone be produced and why? What does the poet say, ‘in sadness’? Why does the poet want his dead thoughts to be scattered? What does the poet want to be scattered? What does he compare it to? Who will blow the trumpet of prophecy? Where does the west wind carry the seeds? What have been compared to a corpse? How will the corpse come alive? Where do the clouds fall? Explain ‘tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean? What leads to the falling of the clouds? What has the west wind done to the Mediterranean Sea? What effect does the west wind have on the Atlantic? How does the west wind emerge supreme in comparison to the ocean? What characteristic of the west wind does the poet bring out in the poem? The poet P.B. Shelley has effectively used personification in the poem. Explain. West wind in the poem is a symbol. Bring out the instances from the poem, which reveal symbolism. Or How has the poet effectively used personification as a technique in the poem? How does the poem bring out Shelley’s belief in the perfectibility of human nature? Shelley’ idealism gets reflected in the poem Ode to the west wind? How? In the poem, the poet wishes to liberated of life’s burdens.. How does he do so? Quote from the poem to support your answer. P.B. Shelley has made west wind a symbol of death as well as rebirth. Quote from the poem to bring out this symbolism. The poet P.B. Shelley traces the movement of the west wind on the earth, in the sky and across the ocean. Why does he do so? The poem has a poignantly personal note. How? Explain ‘sweet though in sadness’? What is the poet’s appeal to the west wind? What has ‘chained and bowed’ the poet? How is this a sharp contrast to when he was a child? What kind of music will the west wind help him produce? What ideas does the poet want to scatter all over the world? Who will blow the trumpet of prophesy? What are the activities of wind on the sky? How does the wind have an impact on water?

113. 114. 115. 116. 117. 118. 119. 120. 121. 122. 123. 124.

Why is the poet then establishes a link between his own personality and the personality of the west wind? What does the poet plead the wind to do? How does the poem reflect the love for liberty? In the poem, what activities of the west wind have been described? Why is it called wild spirit? What does the west wind symbolize? Describe the action of the west wind on water? What appeal does the poet make to the west wind? Explain the last line of the poem? Explain the title of the poem Ode to the west wind. With whom does the poet identify his won personality and why? Mention some characteristics of an ode. How does ‘Ode to the West Wind reveal these characteristics. The poem has personified the west wind. Who do you think has he personified as the west wind? How does Shelley compare himself to the west wind? What is Shelley’s prayer to the West Wind in the last stanza?

NOTES AND EXPLANATION Ode to the west wind was written on a blustery day in l819, while Shelley was walking in the forest that skirts the Arno near Florence, Italy. In it Shelley addresses an autumn wind known in the region as Assoils. The Shelley of late 1819 was one bowed beneath the sorrows of his personal life and lite5rary career. Yet he was also recovering his courage secure in the conviction that good can triumph over evil and love over hate and tortures and that so long as the human will remains strong the hour of triumph will come around just as the seasons come round in turn. It is this belief of Shelley that finds expression in this ode. Being an ode, it is elaborately structured – consisting of five mains parts. The stanza form of each part is a highly original invention consisting of fourteen lines. Within this framework, the substance of the poem is arranged symbolically. The first three stanzas might be entitled “the leaf”, ‘the cloud’, the wave’ – leaf, cloud and wave – are drawn together and shown as symbols of himself- Shelley the poet. In stanza V he ends with and invocation, a prayer that the wind which is both a destroyer and preserver may spread his prophetic message of regeneration to all mankind. The wind is implored to he a trumpet of the poet’s prophecy that the future will be brighter place and a happier world to live in. Stanza I describes the wind’s effects on the land. Shelley begins by addressing the wind as ‘wild and as the very soul of autumn –the season in which it blows. When it blows, ‘its unseen presence’ scatters the withered leaves like a sorcerer might frighten away sprites. Lines 4 and 5 indicate the different shades of the decaying leaves – yellow, black, pale and even red – they are all diseased and withered . The wind is

then described as a chariot that carries the leaves and seeds to the cold earth. The comparison gives the impression that the wind has characteristics similar to those who are associated with chariots – gods and powerful rulers. The winged seeds lie dormant throughout winter –each like a corpse within its grave. The winged seeds and leaves are thus personified as people within their graves – they lie there till winter is over and nature is reawakened by the Spring Wind. Shelley refer to the Spring Wind as the feminine equivalent of the masculine West wind (thine azure sister) and stresses its role as nurturer and life –giver. It is pictured as awakening nature with her energetic ‘clarion’. The dormant seeds which sprout in spring full the entire surface of the earth; with colourful and fragrant blossoms – which are compared to flocks of sheep feeding on the warm spring air. The concluding line of the first stanza identify the West wind as an inspiring power that moves everywhere and affects everything- a powerful spirit of nature that incorporates both destruction as will as continuing life – two processes that are in fact related as without destruction life cannot continue. The concluding phrase ‘oh hear’ is repeated at the end of stanza 2 and 3. This refrain appropriately emphasizes sound – as the wind is an invisible force that can only be heard. Lali Mathew M.A.M.Ed D.A. 564 Sh Bagh 27492907 9810312549

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