Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind” was likely composed in October 1819 near Florence (Donovan 300); it first appeared in print as one of the “Miscellaneous Poems” in his 1820 Prometheus Unbound volume. Sharing thematic and formal concerns with other poems in the volume as well as others composed in 1819, “Ode to the West Wind” is a poem that is also informed by its particular historical context.
Literary and Historical Context
The year 1819 was a remarkable one in literary history. James Chandler notes the sheer “quantity and quality of extraordinary writings produced in a relatively brief epoch” (Chandler xiii); during that same year appeared such major works as the first two cantos of Byron’s