What is the summary of "West Wind" by John Masefield?
Away from his homeland in the west, the speaker yearns to go back home. With the blowing of the warm west wind, the cherished memories of his native place in the month of April are instantly evoked. They turn him nostalgic and upset.
I never hear the west wind but tears are in my eyes.
For it comes from the west lands, the old brown hills.
The west wind is the harbinger of spring. After the harsh winter, the warm west wind is soothing. It's perception reminds the speaker of the pastoral beauty of his native place, where he longs to return.
During this time, the birds begin to chirp, daffodils and “apple orchards blossom,” "the air’s like wine," “there is cool green grass there, where men may lie at rest”, thrushes can be heard “fluting from the nest,” “the young corn is green,” the rabbits run,” the sky is blue and the clouds are white, both the sun and the rain are warm and the buzzing of bees is like “song to a man’s soul” and “fire to a man’s brain.”
These pleasant memories of his native land make him all the more homesick and wistful.
The phrases "tired feet," "bruised hearts" and "aching eyes" suggest the pain and discomfort that afflict the speaker away from his motherland. It seems to him as if the west wind is insisting on his returning home.
"Will ye not come home brother? ye have been long away,”
The urge to go back home is so strong in the speaker that he can't prolong his stay in the alien land any more. He makes up his mind to set off for the place he actually belongs to:
It's the white road westwards is the road I must tread
To the green grass, the cool grass, and rest for heart and head,
To the violets, and the warm hearts, and the thrushes' song,
In the fine land, the west land, the land where I belong.
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.
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.