Write a short note on Shelleys use of imagery in Ode to the West Wind

Question: Write a short note on Shelleys use of imagery in Ode to the West Wind.


Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) is one of the best romantic poets. He is called ”the poet of the revolution” for his powerful composing. In ”Ode to the West Wind” (1820), the poet has able to create fantastic imageries.

Short note on Shelley’s use of imagery

The poem is given a subtle unified texture by the overlapping of images, the echo of words, rhyme sounds and alliterative patterns, and the frequent similes. The changing aspects of the west wind are illustrated through a series of images.

The west wind itself is an image in the poem. The image of the ghost and the image of color are available. The description of destroyer and preserver in the first stanza is a dominant image. By these images, the poet means to say that if we want the new thing, we have to destroy the old thing. We should destroy useless things from our society.

More Notes of Poetry

Images of violence, destruction, and possession are available with the onset of the winter storms in the second stanza. Images of clear water, light, balmy winds, and a state of trance are available in the third stanza. Finally, he creates the image of hope with the line:

‘‘If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?’’


To sum up, this poem is filled with many images. Undoubtedly, he is successful in composing the poem. He means to expose the new coming generation to society.

SR Sarker
SR Sarker
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