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O WILD West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being Thou from whose..........explain these...

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hni | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted October 23, 2012 at 6:40 AM via web

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O WILD West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being Thou from whose..........explain these lines

O WILD West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead Are driven like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing, Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, Pestilence-stricken multitudes! O thou 5 Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low, Each like a corpse within its grave, until Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill 10 (Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air) With living hues and odours plain and hill; Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere; Destroyer and preserver; hear, O hear!

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saumyabhasin | Middle School Teacher | Honors

Posted March 29, 2013 at 7:06 AM (Answer #1)

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In these lines taken from the stanza I of the poem, the poet addresses the West Wind as if it were a living personality who can hear him. He also personifies Autumn and describes the West Wind as the"breath" of Autumn. What he means is that the West Wind is the omnipresent spirit of Autumn. The wind is invisible but its power over the dead leaves can be seen clearly. When it blows, its force drives the withered leaves lying on the ground in the same way as the approach of a magician or wizard drives away ghosts. The withered leaves are described as yellow, black, pale and red (their redness being the redness of fever and decay). There are heaps and heaps of them, and they all seem to be afflicted with some disease.

The West Wind conveys the dead seeds to teir dark beds under the earth where they will remain lying throughout the winter, lifeless and unable to move or rise. Each seed will lie underground like a dead man in his grave. The seeds will continue to lie underground till Spring comes, with its light breezes and blue skies, and blows its trumpet in order to awaken the sleeping earth. With the coming of Spring, Nature wakes to a new life. Hence the poet imagines that the Spring blows a trumpet in order to arouse the earth just as a trumpet is blown to call soldiers to duty. Then the poet employs another metaphor. Just as a shepherd takes his flock of sheep to the fields in order to graze or feed them, so the Spring drives the buds out of the seeds, in which they were shut, into the open air. With the coming of Spring, buds and flowers begin to bloom and fed in the air just as sheep roam about and feed in the fields. The valleys and the hills are thus filled with buds and flowers of different colours and smells. The West Wind is blowing everywhere. Addressing it as a destroyer(of dead leaves) and a preserver (of living seeds), the poet calls upon it to listen to him.

 

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