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What is the summary of "West Wind" by John Masefield?

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shubhamss | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 6, 2010 at 12:35 AM via web

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What is the summary of "West Wind" by John Masefield?

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted January 6, 2010 at 10:49 PM (Answer #1)

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In the poem 'The West Wind' by John Masefield, the poet starts by describing,with very poetic imagery of birds, how the west wind is different from other winds 'it's a warm wind, full of birds' cries.' There is a touch of melancholy, perhaps home-sickness as he describes how it brings tears too, and memories from an old land. He goes on to describe the restful, pastoral beauty of the land where even the dead can lie in the green. He then brings in voices,perhaps of family and friends, calling him home as he is missing April's beauty.The voices then tempt him some more with idyllic images from home (white blossom, young green corn,running rabbits,warm sun.) The voices seem to presume that the poet's heart is sorrowful, bruised and sore.The end of the poem sees the poet appear to make a decision. he will go home as he has decided that is where he truly belongs.

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted January 18, 2015 at 8:48 PM (Answer #2)

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Although it's fairly odd to ask for a "summary" of a poem, I am happy to provide one here as this poem is pretty easy to understand in and of itself.

The speaker beings with definite positive images, by describing the West Wind as "warm" and full of birds chirping, "April" and "daffodills."  Next, the speaker talks about the "west land" where the west wind comes from.  It is a land full of apple orchards, lots of birds singing, "cool" green grass.  As such, it is a perfect place for people to rest. 

The third, fourth, and fifth stanzas switch to a request within quotation marks for the "brother" to come home and feel this beautiful spring.  The new speaker describes the evidence that the west wind has changed the landscape with "blue sky" and "white clouds" and "young corn" and "rain and sun."  It is definitely spring now, due to the sound of the lark and other birds, and the speaker longs for his brother to come home. 

We learn in the fifth stanza that the West Wind is the one speaking to everyone as "brother" in the last few stanzas.  The original speaker is back, insisting that he will take "the white road westwards" in order to experience all of these things.  Further, it's not just a beautiful land of spring, but it's the land where the speaker belongs.

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