Ode to the West Wind
Ode to the West Wind
by Percy Bysshe Shelley


We’ve got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you’ll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(5) Tree Line

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 that remind us of the analogy section on the SATs. It has a straightforward cast of characters – just two, the speaker and the West Wind that he’s talking to. But it also has sentences that are more twisted than a corkscrew. Take it slow, rearrange the phrases in each sentence to work out what Shelley’s saying, and you’ll be fine. You’ll be reading Prometheus Unbound, Shelley’s unperformable play about imagination, before you know it.

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