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Word Count: 1,564
Ode to the West Wind Percy Shelleys Ode to the West Wind indeed is a quintessential archetype of Romantic thought and philosophy The themes of imagination revolution freedom and emotion are unmistakably evident throughout the piece Imagination in particular is perhaps the most prevalent of these themes in regards to Ode to the West Wind Shelley perceives imagination as an ability to free oneself from the constraints of the human condition Moreover imagination is also exposed as a source of poetic inspiration allowing the speaker to fully express his poetic capacity This poetic capacity throughout the poem is metaphorically linked to the changing of seasons likening the annual changes in climate to that of our creative expression In the first stanza the speaker expresses the domain of the West Wind and characterizes the effect of it on the land It scatters the dead leaves and seeds on the forest soil where they eventually fertilize the earth and take root as new growth This concept of rebirth and the interconnectedness of life and death also plays as crucial role in the poem The personified West Wind is characterized as being both Destroyer and Preserver This duality in nature is also an aspect of the use of imagination The imagination as the supreme metal synthesizing faculty allows a reconciliation of these differences and opposing forces in the world of appearance Lines 2-3 in the first stanza suggest that like how a sorcerer might scatter spirits the wind scatters the leaves The words leaves dead can also be interpreted in meaning old forgotten books and ghosts as poets of old thereby manifesting the wind as a source of inspiration driving away old thoughts thus allowing new thoughts and ideals to flourish This concept furthers the imagination as a source of poetic thought replenishing our old worn-out thoughts and revitalizing them This concept of revitalization is again brought up in regards to the colors of the leaves Shelley
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