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Ode to the West Wind

Ode to the West Wind


by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ode to the West Wind Language and Communication Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (line)

Quote #1

Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own! (57-58)

When the speaker asks the wind to use him as its instrument (see our discussion of these lines and the "æolian harp" in the "Detailed Summary"), he implies that on his own he can’t communicate his thoughts to the world in the form of art – he needs the West Wind’s help.

Quote #2

The tumult of thy mighty harmonies

Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. (59-61)

The speaker suggests that he’s not just a mouthpiece for the wind; he will create "music" similar to, but ultimately different from, the wind whistling in the trees.

Quote #3

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth! (63-64)

The speaker believes that it’s important for him to communicate his ideas, not because they are great in themselves, but because they will establish an intellectual climate in which even better ideas can be generated.

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