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The poem 'Ode to the west wind' by Percy Bysshe Shelley demonstrates perfectly the poet's sharply observational style and it is hardly surprising, given the breath of nature that breezes through it, to find out that he actually wrote the poem in a wood near the river Arno, in Florence, Italy.
He is almost calling up the wind as if using a charm or spell - it is possible that he may have beeen thinking of sparking his imagination (in classical times the wind was associated with imagination.) He is also thinking of the wind in terms of its power - both to destroy and also to renew. It is a musical poem with many run-on lines with many questions and much symbolism. One theme it may symbolize (and which may be worth examination in terms of your assignment on the current social times) is that of the way in which the wind is like new political ideas which sweep over the faces of nations.
Percy Bysshe Shelley was a romantic poet from England. He lived from 1792-1822. Shelly attended college and went on to attend a University. However, he had strong atheist views which led to him being kicked out of school. He was a man ahead of his time. He married twice. His wife, Mary, would later write the novel “Frankenstein.” Shelly and his wife moved to Italy. He had one son with Mary, who died in his youth. Shelly drowned when a vessel he was on sunk. He was only 29 years old at the time of his death.
Shelly composed “Ode to the West wind” while living in Italy. It is thought that he wrote it because he was wishing he could be in England to provide support. He was a strong support of revolution and reform. He, like so many poets of his day, used prose to present his political loyalties. However, other scholars believe that he wrote the poem in regards to the death of his and Mary’s son. In the poem he is calling to the wind to lift him up and give him power/strength.
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