Compare the ways in which Heaney and Hughes describe their storms. “Storm on the Island” starts in a very dramatic way by setting the scene of the poem on a lonely, deserted island. Firstly, Seamus Heaney describes the surroundings in a way, to make the readers assume that the storm is set on a very bare waste land with a handful of residents on it that preparing for a storm that turns out to be more severe than they expected. Seamus Heaney then goes on to putting the readers of the poem into the heart of the action by using carefully selected words such as “Blast,” helping us experience the true force of the storm.
Heaney also uses a selection of words such as “Pummels” and “Bombarded” to make it seem as if the storm is terrorising the poor, defenceless island suggesting that it is like a bully. Heaney also uses an oxymoron, when describing the storm by saying that the sea “exploded comfortably down on the cliffs,” as if to say that the sea had exploded down on the cliffs many times in previous storms that the cliffs had experienced its force before and were used to it .
The writer might also be making it seem as if the sea is comfortable with doing such a huge amount of damage to the island.
I think that personification is one of the most important techniques used in the poem because Heaney refers to the storm as a number of things that it isn’t to enhance the anger of the storm. Heaney uses personification to describe the storm by saying that it “Spat like a tamed cat turned savage,” in order to make it seem to the reader, that nature is a tame cat that is underestimated and when irritated can unexpectedly turn savage, spit and hiss. Ted Hughes also uses personification in his poem ’Wind’ in order to make the reader feel as if his storm is also a bully and to encourage the reader to eel sorry for the storm’s victims. Ted Hughes writes “Flexing like the lens of a mad eye,” to push forth the image of brutality and to make readers assume that the storm is very extreme. Although both poets use dramatic imagery to enhance the storm’s power, I think that the sentence “Flexing like the lens of a mad eye,” used by Ted Hughes in “Wind”, is more of an appropriate term to use to describe a storm than “Spits like a tamed cat turned savage,” used by Seamus Heaney in “Storm on the Island”, as it gives the storm a more evil character.
In my opinion, a huge supernatural eye situated over an island, seeking its next victims is created in Hughes poem. Whereas, the image that the sentence “Spits like a tamed cat turned savage,” used by Seamus Heaney in “Storm on the island,” creates, in my opinion, is a small domestic creature that can hurt you but is not capable of damaging you as much as the flexing mad eye in Hughes’s poem could. The most striking difference between “Storm on the island” and “Wind” is the structure of the poems. Wind,” unlike “Storm on the island” is laid out in six individual verses. I determine that Ted Hughes has done this purposely when writing his poem to make the poem appear as if it is dragging on and is never ending, quite like the storm is. Whereas, in “Storm on the island,” Heaney lays out the poem with a less apparent structure and as a one verse poem.
I assume he did this in order to make the poem appear disarranged like the storm had battered it about and made it all merge together as one, quite like what the storm is supposedly doing to the island that it’s upon. Wind”, like “Storm on the island”, describes the islands surroundings foremost, but metaphorically in “Wind”, Ted Hughes makes the house appear as if it is a boat to make it seem more frail and prone to danger whereas, in “Storm on the Island”, Heaney gives across the message to the poem’s readers that the people that live on the island are well prepared for the storm that is about to arrive by writing “We are prepared, we build our houses squat.
Sink walls in rock and roof them with good slate. ” to portray the image of a town of villagers working together to construct strong houses, made of dependable slate and good rock whereas, Ted Hughes writes in “Wind” that “The house had been far out at sea all night,” to make readers assume that the house is a boat, far out in the middle of the ocean, with no help or support to protect it against the outrageous storm and is lonely and vulnerable.
Ted Hughes, unlike Seamus Heaney does not write that the storm’s victims are prepared but instead creates a lonely, dark atmosphere. For example he writes “The house had been far out at sea all night, The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills.. ” to do this. Although both poems use the scenery and surroundings to inflict fear, I think that the fear factor comes across more strongly in “Wind” by Ted Hughes.
This is because Hughes uses a lot more personification to describe the storm and to exaggerate the violence of it more than Heaney does in “Storm on the Island. ” Hughes describes in verse four of “Wind,” of a “Back gull bent like an iron bar slowly” to communicate to the reader that the nature of the storm in “Wind” is so dominant that it could even bend a modest, vulnerable gull in half, slowly, as if it is an iron bar and to display the wind as a deadly character.
When constructing his poem, Heaney writes “We are bombarded by the empty air. Strange. It is a huge nothing that we fear. ” to end his poem to suggest as if the storms victims are anticipating something catastrophic is going to happen but yet, there is nothing actually to see that is pummelling their island, only the final outcome, when the storm has left and ripped apart the island in the process.
The storm is not a physical being and although is it happening in front of them and is real, they cannot terminate it. Heaney builds up the storm in the previous verses of the poem, but finishes on an anti – climax by writing that the storm is nothing whereas Ted Hughes ends his poem “Wind” on a cliff hanger by writing “We watch the fire blazing, and feel the roots of the house move, but sit on, seeing the windows tremble to come in, hearing the stones cry out under the horizons. to make the readers assume that the storms victims are waiting for the wrathful storm to blow over because that’s all they can do. They are alone, in the middle of nowhere, with no support and the only thing they can do is wait out the storm because the storm has an endless quality. Ted Hughes personification in his final line “Hearing the stones cry out under the horizons. ” makes it seem that even rocks and stones are suffering from the storms ruthlessness and are crying out for the storm to cease.
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