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An Analysis Of Relation Between Nature And Spirit In Ode To The West Wind

1037 words - 5 pages

When you venture outside of our urban society and visit the realm of nature, a unique transformation takes place. As the buzz and clamor of the cities recedes, and gives way to untouched earth, you can feel something change inside you. When you are experiencing nature, you can feel your spirit being lifted by the nature surrounding you. This is an interesting concept, and one Percy Bysshe Shelley was very fond of. Of him, John Simkin wrote that he sought in nature inspiration for much of his work. He found inspiration from wind rushing through a forest to write Ode to the West Wind. In this poem, he writes about the relation between nature and spirit. In Ode to the West Wind, Percy Bysshe ...view middle of the document...

This is a very beautiful simile. The wind rushing through trees creates an unworldly sound, and can be a powerful experience to someone experiencing it. Shelley had the chance to experience this, as Henry S. Pancoast will detail. “We must remember that the Ode was composed in a region ruled throughout the greater part of the year by the westerly winds. During the Summer, the wind often sweeps into Italy hot and dry from the South, but with the Autumnal equinox comes the West wind from the Atlantic, heavy with moisture and putting Summer to rout with storms and Autumnal rains.” Having knowledge of this phenomenon, Shelley writes “Make me they 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 though me, impetuous one! (Part V Lines 57-62)” Shelley wants to be an instrument of the wind, for it to invigorate him with its spirit.
Lastly, Shelley depicts the West Wind dispersing his thoughts across the universe in Ode to the West Wind to show a connection between spirit and nature. Before the final couplet of the poem, Shelley paints a picture on a grand scale. “Drive my dead thought over the universe Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth! And, by the incantation of this verse, Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind! Be through my lips to unawakened earth. (Part V Lines 63-68)” Shelley wants his message, and its spirit, to be driven across the universe through this poem. This way, it can reach future generations and envoke the feelings he intended for them to feel. He wants people for years to come to understand nature for what it is. John G. Rudy says some powerful stuff on this subject. “Getting to this state of "realization," of literally making real our "origin," to use...

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