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Ode to the West Wind

Ode to the West Wind

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ode to the West Wind Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. What are some of the things the West Wind could represent?
  2. Is the speaker in "Ode to the West Wind" a representative of all mankind, or is he unique or special in some way?
  3. The poem itself ends with a question – "If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?" (70). Well, can it? What about in a metaphorical sense…can we assume that every kind of decay and death that we compare to the desolation of winter will always result in a rebirth?
  4. Why is wildness so important here? The West Wind is wild, the clouds it blows around are like the hair of crazy Mænads, and the speaker wishes he were also "uncontrollable." What can be created through wildness that isn’t possible with control? Why does a poem that emphasizes wildness have such a controlled form and meter?
  5. Why does this poem praise the West Wind? (As opposed to the East Wind, the North Wind, or the winter wind...)

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