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ODE TO THE WEST WIND

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Stefano Picciolini

on 10 December 2013

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Transcript of ODE TO THE WEST WIND

ODE TO THE WEST WIND
Ode to the West Wind is an ode written by Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1819 near Florence, Italy. It was published in 1820. In the poem the speaker lamenting his inability to directly help those in England owing to his being in Italy. At the same time, the poem expresses the hope that its words will inspire and influence those who read or hear it. Perhaps more than anything else, Shelley wanted his message of reform and revolution spread, and the wind becomes the trope for spreading the word of change through the poet-prophet figure.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
At the time of composing this poem, Shelley without doubt had the Peterloo Massacre of August 1819 in mind.Is a battle occurred at St Peter's Field, Manchester, England, on 16 August 1819, when cavalry charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 people that had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation.
The end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 had resulted in periods of famine and chronic unemployment. By the beginning of 1819, the pressure generated by poor economic conditions had enhanced the appeal of political radicalism. In response, the Manchester Patriotic Union, a group agitating for parliamentary reform, organised a demonstration to be addressed by the well-known radical orator Henry Hunt.
Shortly after the meeting began local magistrates called on the military authorities to arrest Hunt and several others on the hustings with him, and to disperse the crowd. Cavalry charged into the crowd with sabres drawn, and in the ensuing confusion, 15 people were killed and 400–700 were injured.
SOCIO-CULTURAL REFERENCES
Percy Bysshe Shelley  ( 4 August 1792 – 8 July 1822) was one of the major English Romantic poets and is regarded by critics as among the finest lyric poets in the English language.Shelley was a key member of a close circle of visionary poets and writers that included Lord Byron, Leigh Hunt, Thomas Love Peacock, and his own second wife, Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. A radical in his poetry as well as his political and social views, Shelley didn't achieve fame during his lifetime, but recognition for his poetry grew steadily following his death; in fact, he became an idol of the next two or three or even four generations of poets, including the important Victorian poets.



STRUCTURE
The poem Ode to the West Wind consists of five cantos written in third rhyme(rhyming verse stanza form that consists of an interlocking three-line rhyme scheme. It was first used by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri.) Each canto consists of four tercets (ABA, BCB, CDC, DED) and a rhyming couplet (EE). The Ode is written in iambic pentameter.
The poem begins with three cantos describing the wind's effects upon earth, air, and ocean. The last two cantos are Shelley speaking directly to the wind, asking for its power, to lift him like a leaf, a cloud or a wave and make him its companion in its wanderings. He asks the wind to take his thoughts and spread them all over the world so that the youth are awoken with his ideas. The poem ends with an optimistic note which is that if winter days are here then spring is not very far.
The poem Ode to the West Wind can be divided in two parts: the first three cantos are about the qualities of the ‘Wind’ and each end with the invocation ‘Oh hear!’. The last two cantos give a relation between the ‘Wind’ and the speaker.

O
w
ild
W
est
W
ind, thou breath of Autumn’s b
eing
,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves d
ead

Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fle
eing
,
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic r
ed
,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O th
ou
,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry b
ed

The winged seeds, where they lie cold and l
ow
,
Each like a corpse within its grave, un
til
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall b
low

Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth, and f
ill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in
air
)
With living hues and odours plain and h
ill
:
Wild Spirit, which art moving everywh
ere
;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh, h
ear
!
Ode  is a type of lyrical stanza. A classic ode is structured in three major parts: the strophe, the antistrophe, and the epode. It is an elaborately structured poem praising or glorifying an event or individual, describing nature intellectually as well as emotionally.

O selvaggio Vento dell’Ovest, tu respiro dell’essenza dell’autunno,
Tu, dalla cui presenza invisibile le foglie morte
Sono spinte, come fantasmi che fuggono da un incantatore
Gialle, e nere, e pallide, e rosse febbrili,
Moltitudini colpite da pestilenza: O tu,
Che porti (su l tu o co cch io) al loro oscuro letto invernale
I semi alati, dove giacciono freddi e bassi,
Ognuno come un cadavere nella sua tomba, fino a quando
La tua azzurra sorella della Primavera (Zefiro) suonerà
La sua tromba sulla sognante terra, e riempirà
( Spingendo dolci germogli come greggi a pascolare nell’aria)
Con viventi colori ed odori, pianura e collina:
Spirito Selvaggio, che ti stai muovendo ovunque;
Distruttore e conservatore; ascolta, oh, ascolta!
STEFANO PICCIOLINI 3D
Alliteration: wild West Wind (line 1).
Apostrophe, Personification: Throughout the poem, the poet addresses the west wind as if it were a person.
Metaphor: Comparison of the west wind to breath of Autumn's being (line 1).
Metaphor: Comparison of autumn to a living, breathing creature (line 1).
Anastrophe: leaves dead (line 2). Anastrophe is inversion of the normal word order
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