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"Ode to the West Wind"
Transcript of "Ode to the West Wind"
Each part of the poem contains five stanzas. There are four three-line stanzas and one couplet in each part of the poem. The poem is in iambic pentameter.
This poem has a rhyme scheme called "terza rima", which is a three line rhyme scheme. The first and third lines rhyme and middle does not, and then the end sound of the second line rhymes with the first and third lines of the next stanza. Then the couplet rhymes with the last three line stanza. So the rhyme scheme is: ABA BCB CDC DED EE.
The tone of "Ode to the West Wind" is a persistent one. The speaker calls to the West Wind, as if he was begging for it's attention. The main idea of the poem is the speaker pleading the West Wind to help him spread his ideas to help inspire others.
Diction & Language Pattern
"from whose unseen presence the leaves dead Are driven..." (Canto I, lines 2-3)
"Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, Pestilence-stricken multitudes" (Canto, lines 4-5)
"If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear..." (Canto IV, line 1)
"What if my leaves are falling like its own!" (Canto V, line 2)
Sound Devices and their effects
Shelley uses alliteration constantly in the "Ode to the West Wind" to add a chant like quality to the poem.
The speaker is a full fledged character, and he only addresses himself as "I". The situation is revealed when the speaker addresses the West Wind. The speaker wants to tell the West Wind his ideas because he thinks they are terrible, but he hopes that his ideas could help others develop their own unique and better ideas. He would spread his ideas by himself, but his life is coming to an end. He ultimately wishes to be the West Wind, for it is forever a free spirit and "uncontainable".
Figures of Speech
The poem contains many examples of figures of speech. The most common are alliteration, similes, personification, and paradoxes.
"Ode to the West Wind"
By: Percy Bysshe Shelley
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,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The winged 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
(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, oh hear!
Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lull'd by the coil of his crystalline streams,
Beside a pumice isle in Baiae's bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave's intenser day,
All overgrown with azure moss and flowers
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou
For whose path the Atlantic's
Cleave themselves into
, while far below
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know
Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves:
Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies
Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!
Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like wither'd leaves to quicken a new birth!
And, by the incantation of this verse,
Scatter, as from an
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawaken'd earth
The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behin
Percy Bysshe Shelley
He moved to Oxford in 1810 where his father asked a bookseller to get his printing connections to help Percy publish his works, but they helped him publish a pamphlet on atheism instead, and this caused him to get kicked out of school which caused him to feud with his father.
Percy put great emphasis on the power of human thought and expression. This can be seen in "Ode to the West Wind" through the theme of the power of a poet.
Even though Percy had many trials in his life, he remained optimistic in his works and never ceased writing for very long.
At the age of 19,when he was already disconnected from his family, Percy married 16 year old Harriet Westbrook, who he knew through his sisters. He thought that he was in a way "saving" her from her overbearing father. Three years later he ditched Harriet, and ran away with Mary Goldwin, who was the duaghter of two significant radicals from the 1790's( Mary Wollstonecraft and and William Godwin). Mary Goldwin herself was a radical and was looked upon with great pleasure by Percy. Through Mary's stepsister Jane Clairmont(claire), Shelley would meet Byron in 1816 and the two would end up collaborating their works.
Percy returned to England after a second trip to Switzerland. Upon his return Marry's sister committed suicide along with Harriet, his wife drowning herself in the Hyde park pond. So he married Marry, but was not allowed to see his two children he had with Harriet.
Percy and Mary left their fame and debts in england and this led to Percy creating Adpnais, and elegy to the death of keats, in 1821.
In 1822, Shelley and Edward Williams, a friend, died in a boating accident when their sail boat sunk due to a storm. two weeks later Shelley's body washed up on shore and he had Sophocles and of keats in his pockets. He was burned in a pyre on the beach and his ashes were buried in a Roman Protestant Cemetery.
"heart of hearts"
Thou on whose stream, mid the steep sky's commotion,
Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,
Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread
On the blue surface of thine aëry surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head
Of some fierce Maenad, even from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the zenith's height,
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou
Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,
Vaulted with all thy congregated might
Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst:
If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share
The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than thou, O
! If even
I were as in my
, and could be
of thy wanderings over Heaven,
As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed
Scarce seem'd a vision; I would ne'er have striven
As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
Oh, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!
A heavy weight of hours has chain'd and bow'd
One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.
The Necessity of Atheism
“If the knowledge of a God is the most necessary, why is it not the most evident and the clearest?”
Frankenstein or; The Modern Prometheus
History of Six Weeks Tour
The power of nature:
Nature contains great forces such as the west wind that can change and alter almost anything in its path.
Shelley shows images of death and decay thoguh out the poem and he says that he hopes after the world dies there will be a spring or type of rebirth but he is not sure what will happen.
Shelley hopes that his thoughts will be spread all over the world so that it might trigger other people to start thinking on their own.
"The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low, Each like a corpse within its grave..." (Canto I, lines 7-8)
"Thou dirge Of the dying year, to which this closing night Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre..." (Canto 2, lines 9-11)
"Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams The blue Mediterranean, where he lay..." (Canto III, lines 1-2)
"For whose path the Atlantic’s level powers Cleave themselves into chasms..." (Canto III, lines 9-10)
- "Wild West Wind" (Canto I, line 1)
- "Drive my dead thoughts over the universe Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth!" (Canto V, lines 7-8)
- "Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth" (Canto I, lines 9-10)
-"Destroyer and Preserver" (Canto I, line 14)
In the first three stanzas there is alot of figurative language such as lines 4-5: "Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Shelley uses a surplus of words and overblown language throughout this poem.
There are very long complex sentences filled with vivid pictures and imagery.
The repitition of "oh hear" throughout the poem adds to the speaker's desperate tone.
The Rhyme scheme also allows for the poem to smoothly flow and move easily for the reader to follow.
prezi by: Anna Blocker and Addison Crowder