Shelley Study Questions "To a Sky-lark"
  1. How do the first 35 lines present the ideas of exuberance, abundance, and overflow? Find specific images and sensory details (language).
  2. What is the purpose of the four similes in lines 36-55? What do they reveal or emphasize about the bird?
  3. Beginning at line 61, the speaker asks the bird to teach "us." What does the speaker want to learn from the bird? By the poem's ending, has the speaker learned what he desires from the bird?
"Ode to the West Wind"
  1. Describe the organizational structure and strategy of the poem. (Examine the focus of the first three sections. Then note the shift in stanzas 4 and 5.)  The footnotes will help.
  2. Why should lines 46-52 remind you of "Tintern Abbey?" (Skip this question if we didn't read this poem in class.)
  3. What is the speaker calling for in section five? What relationship with nature does he desire?  Consider the significance of revolution here.
  4. How do you read the last sentence (69-70) of the poem? As a rhetorical question? An actual question? How does your response change the meaning of the poem?