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As the title suggests, this poem is about wind and the destructive effects that it has on both the landscape and people that live in a isolated house. The narrator tells us how the inhabitants of the house struggle against a powerful and violent weather. However, in spite of the efforts no human is strong enough to resist the extreme forces of nature. Therefore the relationship between Man and Nature’s power is the key theme in ‘Wind’.
3. MUSIC AND LANGUAGE
‘This house/ has been / far out/ at sea/ all the night’
Many poems have precise patterns to follow as rhyme and meter. But Hughes doesn’t follow any pattern since he wants to create the sense of chaos as the extreme weather does in the poem. Then writing in a free verse he rejects all the conventional poetic rules. Likewise is necessary to take a look to how the rhythm influences the poem’s meaning. According to this we can see that he uses an iambic pentameter because we can notice five beats in each verse with alternating unaccented and accented syllables. This iambic pentameter creates an intermittent rhythm giving a vitality to the poem that emphasizes the wind’s features. Also he uses alliterations such as ‘wind wielded blade-light’ (6) that reminds the blow of the wind and at the same time suggests that the wind could strike at any time. There is more alliteration in the line ‘black back gull bent like an iron bar slowly’ (16) that conveys a slow reading that reflects in some way the crushing puff of the wind.
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The poem’s language is full of words with a particular sound pattern. He uses words wich denote strength to describe the power of the wind such as ‘bang’ or ‘flung’ that turns the wind into a frightful and violent nature force, unlike for instance the words ‘quivering’ and ‘cry’ used to the people’s description and which give to them a connotation of weakness.
‘Wind’ has a linear narrative structure in which each of six stanzas conformed by four lines each one. The structure of the poem seems quite simple, but if we pay attention to the end of the verses we can see that some of them lacks of punctuation. The punctuation is one of the formal aspect that makes easier the understanding of a text, avoiding ambiguous meanings and difficulties to interpret it. Therefore I think that in ‘Wind’ the poet breaks all the formal conventions starting the lines with capital letter and using the punctuation as he wants in order to emphasize the effects of the wind. He alters the punctuation conventions provoking disorder, confusion and chaos as the wind does in the landscape and people of the poem.
5. IMAGERY AND FIGURES
Imagery and figures are remarkable techniques that must be highlighted in this poetry essay. They can be found through the whole poem in order to increase the strength of the wind and they help the reader to imagine every event in a more realistic way.
In the first stanza he is speaking about the devastate force of the wind. He uses in this stanza many metaphors and personifications emphasizing the extraordinary power of nature. In the first line of the poem ‘this house has been far out at sea all night’ (1) we can see the metaphor of the house ‘far out at sea’ as it was a boat lost in the middle of nowhere struggling against the sea as the house struggles against the wind.
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The second stanza shows an evident contrast with the first one. After the emphatic use of personification to enhance the power and ruthlessness of the wind , he portrays a still countryside with an ‘orange sky’ (5). Following with the same line ’till day rose’ (5), we can notice that he is giving to the day human attributes once again.
The third stanza the poet uses the first person narration. He uses this device to create familiarity in the reader. For instance when it says that he ‘scaled along the house side’ (9) we can imagine the man facing with nature and we put ourselves in his place feeling empathy for him.
In the fourth stanza he portrays the landscape as being fearful of the wind as he says ‘the fields quivering, the skyline a grimace” (13) personifying ‘fields’ and ‘sky’ in order to emphasize upon the sense of power of the wind. The line ‘The wind flung a magpie away and a black gull bent like an iron bar’ (15) is another contribution to the sense of power of the wind because it can even fling a magpie away. In the following line he uses a simile to describe the wind strength saying that it can ‘bend a black gull like an iron bar’ (16).
The fifth stanza speaks about the house in terms of weakness describing it as ‘fine green goblet’ (17) under the fierce wind, while the hearts of inhabitants are ‘gripping’ and they try to face the elements, but they are so scared that even ‘cannot entertain book, thought or each other’ (20).
The last stanza ‘feel the roots if the house move’ (22) can have a double meaning, at first glance we can think that the wind is so strong that can even move the house, but also it can be related to the roots of the family, his heritage and tradition. The house that so much effort they employed to build it and where all the family traditions and values were settled. The poem ends with the ‘cry’ of the stones, meaning that something so strong and almost unbreakable as a stone is also fearful because of the storm.
There is a great control of language and imagery in this poem. Through his masterful use of figures and images clearly related to its theme and structure he gives to the wind the personality of an enormous and powerful beast making this poem a breathtakingly poem. Hughes captures the power of the wind in phrases full of a wild and insatiable energy achieving a great power of expression in every line of the poem.
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