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Ode to the West Wind

Ode to the West Wind

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ode to the West Wind Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

The most important form here is the ode. We talked about that in the "What’s Up With the Title?" section, so you can go and read about it there. Let’s think about the rhyme scheme and m...


The speaker in this poem is almost, but not quite, a fully-fledged character; he’s somewhere between the shadowy impersonal speaker that we assume is between the poet and the poem every time...


We’re tempted to claim that the setting in this poem is "The Universe," and that wouldn’t be far wrong. While there are several geographical references here – the Atlantic Ocean,...

Sound Check

This poem is only a hair’s breadth different from a prayer. If you imagine the speaker on his knees in front of the wind, trying to grab the hem of its jacket (not that the wind wears a jacke...

What's Up With the Title?

The most important thing about the "Ode to the West Wind" is, of course, that it’s an ode. An ode is a lyric poem that has a complicated formal structure, a highfalutin’ tone, and a gra...

Calling Card

You know you’re reading Shelley when the color red is "hectic," the earth is "dreaming," the surges are "aery," and the trumpets all play prophecies. Shelley belonged to a philosophical movem...


This poem is right in the middle of the range. It doesn’t have too many complicated references to things the poet thinks you should have read but you haven’t. But it does have metaphors...

Brain Snacks

Sex Rating

Unless you can turn the words "Make me thy lyre" into some kind of weird sexual innuendo, this is a totally sexless poem. There might be something sort of like sexual desire in the speaker’s...

Shout Outs

Hindu gods Siva and Vishnu ("Destroyer and Preserver") (14)the Mænads (21)the Mediterranean Sea (30)Baiæ’s Bay (32)the Atlantic Ocean (37)

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