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The trumpeting poetic imagination, inspired by sources -- spirits -- unknown to the poet himself, actually reverses time.

Poets prophesy, not by consciously extrapolating from past to present, and from present to future, with instrumental reason, but by capitulating to the mind's intuition, by freeing the imagination.

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23] locks: cirrus clouds take their name from their likeness to curls of hair.

31] coil: encircling cables, or perhaps confused murmuring or noise.

The close of his "Defence of Poetry" underlies the thought of "Ode to the West Wind": Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration, the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present, the words which express what they understand not, the trumpets which sing to battle and feel not what they inspire: the influence which is moved not, but moves.

Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the World.

By stealing fire from heaven, Prometheus enabled humanity to found civilization.

In punishment, according to Hesiod's account, Zeus chained Prometheus on a mountain and gave him unending torment, as an eagle fed from his constantly restored liver.Shelley completed both his dramatic poem and "Ode to the West Wind" in autumn 1819 in Florence, home of the great Italian medieval poet, Dante.The autumn wind Shelley celebrates in this ode came on him, standing in the Arno forest near Florence, just as he was finishing "Prometheus Unbound." Dante's Divine Comedy had told an epic story of his ascent from Hell into Heaven to find his lost love Beatrice.17 And when I sawe him, I fell at his feete as dead: and hee laid his right hand vpon me, saying vnto mee, Feare not, I am the first, and the last.18 I am hee that liueth, and was dead: and behold, I am aliue for euermore, Amen, and haue the keyes of hell and of death.By surrendering to the creative powers of the mind, the poet unites his spirit with the world's spirit across time.

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