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Word Count: 1,109
Percy Bysshe Shelleys poem Ode to the West Wind and Sylvia Plaths poem Mirror both employ the poetic tools of apostrophe the address to something that is intangible and personification the application of human characteristics to something inanimate However they form a paradox in the usage of these tools through the imagery they create Both poets have breathed life into inanimate objects however death and aging are the prominent themes within both of these works In Ode to the West Wind Shelley personifies many of natures elements by attaching descriptions of remains of death that are typically human He begins the poem with a simile by comparing the autumn leaves to ghosts Though leaves are in fact living things the term ghost implies a spirit or presence from a living being who has passed on To become a ghost it is necessary to have a soul and this is specific to humans and other mammals Shelley uses the idea of giving a soul to an inanimate object in the second stanza of his poem as well In the fourth line he uses angels as a metaphor for decaying leaves Here the reader is compelled to envision spirit beings falling from the sky with the rain and lightning In another area of the poem where Shelley applies human death attributes he states that each of the winged seeds is like a corpse within its grave Charters p 871 Again he gives us the image of a human who has died and is lying in he or shes bu rial place In the third stanza of Shelleys poem he uses personification by assigning emotion to some of natures elements In the eleventh line Shelley declares that the sea-blooms and the oozy woods will suddenly grow grey with fear The emotions he assigns are relative to the idea of death These are the feelings that humans develop when they feel that death is near Shelley has again
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