Percy Bysshe Shelley as a revolutionary Romantic poet and few of his Lyric poetry
Shelley is famous as the most political and the revolutionary poet of the Romantic period as he incorporates more revolutionary elements than any other poets of this age. In his short life span, he was able to protest against conventional authority through his creations because he believed that through poetry the world can be reformed. His well- known poems include Ode to the West Wind, Queen Mab, Masque of Anarchy, Ozymandias and others. He also wrote various pamphlets which support his revolutionary ideas. His Pamphlets like Address to the Irish People was focused on the emancipation and social justice of the oppressed people. In A Defence of Poetry, Shelley mentioned the poet as a prophet and leader of the society as he has the ability to change the society and bring something positive for the sake of the masses. In this article, we are going to discuss a few of his significant lyrics. So, let’s know them in detail –
Ode to the West Wind (1820)
Undoubtedly, this is considered the best lyric poetry in which he observes the West Wind as the ‘destroyer’ as well as ‘preserver’. The poet shares his deepest personal aspiration to be as carefree as the west wind when he observes the madness of it. For him, the wind can destroy everything, but at the same time it also holds the power to rejuvenate. Finally, he makes a plea to the wind to free him from the shackles of life so that he can be tamed, swift and proud like the wind.
To a Skylark (1820)
This poem was derived from a real-life situation when he and his wife, Mary Shelley went for an evening walk in the country near Livorno, Italy. There they came across the appearance and the song of a skylark which inspired the poet to write this poem. The song of the Skylark is compared to a series of natural phenomena by a number of similes like the moonbeams and raindrops. Just like the moonbeams which spread out from behind the cloud during the night, the song of the Skylark also comes and fills his heart amidst the miseries.
A Widow Bird
The inspiration of this poem is also derived from nature, where the natural images are expressing the poet’s feelings. Overall, a sense of numbness is being expressed in this poem.
Finally, we want to end the discussion with few of his lines from the poem, Ode to the West Wind –
‘I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed! /A heavy weight of hours has chain’d and bow’d /
One too like thee: tameless, swift, and proud.’