The video and text below analyse Storm on the Island by Seamus Heaney
The poem highlights the violence of nature, as experienced by Heaney.
There is a great deal of vivid description and use of sounds to create a sense of a violent storm throughout the poem.
The people of the island expect the storm and ‘are prepared’ by building their houses low down in height so they are not blown over. The houses are also built in a sturdy manner, with walls sunk ‘in rock’ so they stand up to the power of the wind and rain.
There is personification of the earth on line 3 ‘the wizened earth’ to show the earth is also intelligent enough to know that hay will not grow or be able to stand up to the power of the wind, so it is not to be seen on the island. The idea of it becoming wizened indicates that maybe hay tried to grow, but this was soon put to an end by the brutality of the elements.
Trees are also absent, emphasising how powerful the winds must be. The image of the island is now of a very drab, barren landscape, with little growing, almost like a desert. The absence of trees gives a sense of a loss of ‘company’ (line 6) during the storms. This seems to be because the wind will cause the trees to make a lot of noise, which at least identifies the power of the storm. Here there is no sound, so the storm appears more eerie and unpleasant, as a result.
The trees are personified in terms of the noise they could make ‘raise a tragic chorus in a gale’ like a bad choir singing, warning of unhappy or unpleasant events. This could reflect the unhappiness of the people on the island as the storm rages around them.
The tone is almost conversational ‘you know what I mean’ as if Heaney is talking to the reader, almost confiding in them.
The sea is also seen as violent ‘exploding comfortably’ an oxymoron which shows it is violent ‘exploding’ but happy or at home ‘comfortably’ in this environment. The violence is further exaggerated by the ‘flung spray’ and the violence of ‘hits the very windows’ is a powerful force, causing damage to the houses.
The animal imagery ‘spits like a tame cat turned savage’ shows it is unpleasant and uncontrollable. The image also indicates that the sea can be calm and ‘tame’ but now has taken on a rough, ‘savage’ appearance.
All the people, living on the island ‘sit tight’ waiting for the storm to end and ‘while wind dives’ uses alliteration on the ‘w’ sound to emphasise the harsh qualities of the wind still further.
There is war or weaponry imagery with ‘space as a salvo’ and ‘we are bombarded by the empty air’ as if they are being attacked by an invisible army with invisible bullets.
The final thought is how strange it is that what we fear is a ‘huge nothing’; the storm is invisible, yet it causes so much fear in us. Is this a reference to God as well? This is something that is feared by so many, is powerful, can cause so much harm and makes so many scared. Heaney was an Irish poet and the theme of the power of religion is very prominent in many of his poems as is the power of nature.
I late read two verse forms entitled “Island Man” and “The Fringe Of The Sea” . They are both similar in subject. but they besides have many differences. Both verse forms are based on the emotions of people who live near the sea and their feelings towards it. This subject relates to both of the writers. and connects them ; the writer of “The Fringe Of The Sea” . A. L. Hendricks. was born in Jamaica and subsequently in life moved to Britain. Grace Nichols. writer of “Island Man” . was born in Ghana and so besides immigrated to the UK.
Grace Nichols’ verse form “Island Man” is about a Caribbean adult male who lives in London. but still longs for his place and the sea. The verse form follows the adult male as he wakes in the forenoon to the memories of his place in the Caribbean and the sound of the sea in his caput.
I believe that the chief subject of the verse form is that place is of import and it will ever be with you no affair what. There is besides a strong subject of reluctance coming from “Island Man” to travel on with his life and go forth his yesteryear buttocks. His involuntariness to acquire up in the forenoon can besides be viewed as a strong metaphor of his reluctance to go forth his yesteryear buttocks. An interesting construct played on in the verse form is that it takes topographic point when “Island Man” wakes up – go forthing him in the province of being half asleep and half awake.
This gives the writer the ability to allow you think which parts of the verse form are the world. dreams and memories of his life – utilizing this the writer can mire them together. A good illustration of this is the line “his crumpled pillow waves” – it shows the world ( his crumpled pillow ) and as he is half awake and half asleep his dreams and memories view the crumples in the pillow as “waves” .
The subject of individuality is besides strong in the verse form. “Island Man” is ne’er given a name so that he can besides be seen as a symbol of the people who have moved from their place states and felt like they have lost portion of themselves ; their individuality. Therefore “Island Man” can be seen as a representative of these people. and so I believe that they will associate with the character – this besides fits in to the background of the writer. Grace Nichols. so it is possible she did this so that she relates to the character. The Island in “Island Man” could besides be a manner of demoing his emotions. e. g. he is an stray or alone adult male trapped on an emotional island.
The verse form is besides written in free poetry. with no sentence construction or full Michigan. This suggests the thought of no limitations and freedom. merely like the Caribbean is for Island Man. compared to his London life.
Merely before the verse form starts there is information in parenthesis. this helps put the scene by giving a small information stating you what the verse form is approximately. Equally shortly as you begin reading the verse form it is obvious that the verse form is written in a first individual narrative instead than a 3rd individual narrative. I believe the ground for this would be because with a 3rd individual narrative it is distanced from the character. whilst with a first individual one you can sympathise with the character and you could besides place with them.
The first line “Morning” has more than merely the surface significance here. it besides seems to be a wordplay on the word “Mourning” to propose unhappiness in Island Man. More grounds for this is that the word is on its ain in the line. this could be intending solitariness. which is by and large related to sadness. The word could besides be viewed as a manner of demoing a new start. as forenoons are a new start for every twenty-four hours. it could besides be a metaphor for a new beginning in Island Man’s life. This new start would be Island Man go forthing place and get downing his new life in London.
The following line “and Island Man wakes up” shows that the character of Island Man has no name as he is referred to without a utilizing a name. This suggests that he may experience like he has no individuality after go forthing a big portion of his life behind in the Caribbean.
Line three and four are a alteration from the old two as we begin to see a strong beat forming. The line is as follows – “to the sound of bluish breaker / in his caput in is head” although these are two separate lines ( separated here with a cut ) they are related poetically. These lines use enjambement for the consequence of the lines fluxing into each other to do it seems like the sea. The first half flows swimmingly. as does the 2nd half. except for the concluding word.
The missive “S” is used in both halves to convey them together – to remind the readers of Islands Man intimacy to the sea. The missive “H” ( “head” ) is a interruption from the “S’s” and hence the beat is lost. The 3rd line ( “to the sound of bluish surf” ) has initial rhyme of the missive “S” . The sound of this missive is really much like that of the moving ridges to remind the reader of the sea. To see that this comes across to the readers there is accent on these letters. There is besides an accent on the word “head” here to do the readers realize that it is merely in Island Man’s caput. as he besides realizes the truth.
The 4th line uses two verbs. which have internal rime to do the line flow easier ( interrupting and wombing ) . The first verb “breaking” suggests the repetitive and steady breakage of the moving ridges on the Caribbean littorals. More grounds of this intending the moving ridges is the fact that the line says “the steady breakage and wombing” which clearly illustrates the moving ridges gesture. The 2nd verb “wombing” is derived from the word “womb” ; hence this connotes heat. maternal love and household.
Island Man would link all of these with his place. and he would link the first 1 in an emotional and physical sense. In this line the adverb “steady” is used to depict the verbs. Whilst other words could hold been used to this consequence I believe “steady” was chosen because the first missive is an “S” . which continues the initial rhyme from the old lines – and reinforces the beat
The first line of the following stanza “wild seabirds” may non look to keep much information but it seems to be comparing London and the Caribbean by utilizing the adjectival “wild” which is a contrast to the Pigeons normally found in London.
The 2nd line of the 2nd stanza is as follows – “and fishermen forcing out to sea” . Here we have initial rhyme of the letters “SH” in “fishermen” and “pushing” it is besides mildly repeated in the word “sea” at the terminal of the sentence by utilizing the missive “S” . Again. this suggests the sound of the sea
There is a go oning of the initial rhyme of the missive “S” through onto the last line of this stanza with the words “sun surfacing” . The adverb used to exemplify the Sun is an interesting one ( “the Sun come uping defiantly” ) . it seems to propose that Island Man does non desire the Sun to lift over his island place. as it is withstanding him. This is another manner of demoing Island Man’s reluctance to go forth his past life buttocks. as he doesn’t want life to travel on without him. This could besides intend that the Sun surfaces in London when he doesn’t want it to. as it awakes him from his dreams of his past life. There is besides a rime at the terminal of this line with the terminal of the old line – it is “sea” and “defiantly” . Rhyme creates harmoniousness and a relaxed atmosphere ; this reflects Island Man’s ideas about the island.
The following stanza has a state of affairs where his memories. dreams and world becomes entwined. There are a figure of different possibilities for this stanza. and I believe the writer did non do any of these possibilities singularly correct. but instead wanted the reader to think. On its ain the stanza reads as “from the east / of his little emerald island / he ever comes back” . The obvious significance of this is that in London ( “the east” ) he awakes from the dreams ( “he ever comes back” ) .
This possibility is based on the world. whilst if you pair it up with the last line of the old stanza ( “the Sun come uping defiantly” ) it gives it a new significance based more on his memories and dreams and so back to world – “the Sun come uping rebelliously / from the east / of his little emerald island / he ever comes back” . This possibility tells of the Sun come uping to the E of the island. which are his memories and/or his dreams. The island is smartly described as a little emerald in the 2nd line of this stanza. this non merely relates to its coloring material. a exuberant tropical viridity. but besides its value. An emerald. although little is really valuable and cherished. as the island is to Island Man.
Before the authorship continues there is a big spread. which I beielve illustrates the reluctance of Island Man in go forthing his yesteryear behind. it besides shows that alteration will take clip as the lines read as “he ever comes back / groggily groggily” . The word “groggily” connotes a slow. sleepy motion. this is Island Man acquiring out of bed. which is a metaphor for his reluctance to go forth his yesteryear buttocks. So as it takes clip to acquire out of bed it takes clip acquire on with his London life.
Next the verse form goes on to what Island Man comes back to – “Comes back to littorals / of a gray metallic soar” . The first line is about Island Man coming back to a topographic point of a “grey metallic soar” which is evidently London. Although there are merely three words in the line they all connote a strong image of London. They seem to propose a glide of traffic ( “soar” ) . a black landscape of edifices and a concrete jungle ( “grey” ) and more autos ( “metallic” ) . It may look that these are a strong contrast to the Caribbean. but they all have their similarities and connexions. which Island Man can see. which possibly explains why he refers to it as “sands” . These similarities are sea birds instead than traffic ( “soar” ) . jungles and trees instead than edifices ( “grey”/green ) and wood boats and houses instead than autos ( “metallic”/wooden ) .
The following line has the same spread that exists before the repeat of “groggily” earlier on in the verse form. However this spread is more to make with credence instead than reluctance as Island Man realises he must confront the world. This makes sense as the line is ” to the rush of wheels” . The word rush here is used as a contrast between the rush of wheels and the rush of the tropical moving ridges. the form of a wheel is besides similar to that of a curling moving ridge. and the repetition of the moving ridges is similar to the turning of wheels.
The line following this is “to a dull North Circular roar” . The North Circular is a route in London in the form of circle. this is a contrast to the Island place of Island Man and the boom is a contrast of the traffic and the sea. Dull is besides used to compare ; as the Island Man views the Caribbean as being anything but dull. whilst he views London life as being drab. The words “roar” and “soar” rime but in a different manner to the old rime. which seemed really smooth and seemed to flux easy. whilst this rime is much more harsh. This is once more a metaphor for how Island Man viewed the contrast between his Caribbean life and his London life.
The concluding stanza of the verse form begins with the repeat of the word “muffling” . This suggests that Island Man is covering his caput with his pillows to submerge out the sound of the traffic. as he wants to maintain the sound of the moving ridges in his caput. Island Man tries to conceal the fact that he is no longer at place from himself in order to experience some comfort. There is more grounds for this on the following line as he seeks comfort by feigning the crumples on his pillow are the moving ridges of the sea.
This is followed by the line “and island adult male heaves himself” . This is Island Man eventually acquiring out of his bed to confront the worlds of his London life. and the verb “heaved” seems to mention back to the fishermen earlier. It is besides a word. which connotes intense attempt and energy. which once more refers back to the reluctance of Island Man.
The verse form is finished with a individual line on it’s ain. this line is “Another London day” which tells the reader that Island Man now must accept his world in London. although unwillingly.
I personally enjoyed reading Island Man as it is really good written and the writer has been really cagey in masking her message in a elusive manner but still presenting the message is a powerful one. The verse form besides suggests the characters emotions in a realistic manner utilizing a big array of poetic devices. for case I have ne’er felt homesick. but thanks to the writer I could sympathise for Island Man. Island Man is besides a verse form with many different beds to it – the verse form can be viewed from many different angles to give a somewhat differing intending to it each clip it is read – I personally enjoy verse forms wish this as they tend to acquire better the more you read them as you reveal their different beds of significance.
A similar verse form to “Island Man” is “The Fringe of The Sea” . This verse form has many similarities. but besides many differences to the old verse form. This verse form is about a community of Island people and their feelings instead than about a individual adult male as in Island Man. Although Island Man himself was a representative of these people The Fringe Of The Sea is less personal than Island Man doing it difficult to link with and experience for the characters. The chief ground for this is that whilst Island Man deals with one individual. The Periphery Of The Sea is written in first individual plural ( “We” and “Us” instead than “I” ) . This evidently distances you from the people. as you can non acquire remarkable ideas of a individual. However it shows that these people all have the same/similar sentiments. which shows that these people co-work. co-operate and unrecorded together in harmoniousness.
The chief subject of this verse form is co-working – it shows that all people who live upon little islands live in harmoniousness with each other and nature and turn a common regard for both of them. Unlike the old verse form there are non many subjects and many different ways to look at the verse form. it has alternatively one strong position of the verse form. which is enforced throughout.
This verse form is written in free poetry. although largely in stanzas of three or four lines – most lines are of a similar length. although a few aren’t. This is really different to the signifier and construction of Island Man. which has variable stanza and line lengths and with some lines with a big infinite before them and stick outing out to the side of the verse form. Similarly to Island Man nevertheless there is a deficit of capital letters – in both verse forms they are merely used for pronouns or nouns ( “North Circular” and “We” ) .
The first stanza of the verse form begins with the pronoun “We” screening that it is in first individual plural narration. which differs from Island Man’s 3rd individual narrative. There is besides a repeat of “We” to stress the point and to stress its significance. In the first stanza. there are a few similarities to the verse form Island Man. here is the first stanza – “We do non like to rouse / far from the periphery of the sea / we who live upon little islands” . It is evident instantly that one time once more the verse form is about people who live upon a little island. although there is no information about its location – as there was in Island Man ( in a parenthesis at the start of the verse form ) . Another similarity is that the word “awaken” is used in this verse form. and waking up is used as a strong metaphor and subject of Island Man. these people evidently feel the same manner as Island Man does about the sea – neither want to “awaken far from the periphery of the sea” . The 2nd line of this stanza uses initial rhyme of the missive “F” ( “far from the periphery of the sea” ) .
This creates a comforting sound similar to the sea moving ridges. as it is a soft sounding missive to pronounce. Enjambment is besides used to animate the flowing of the sea waves with the lines go oning into each other. Rhythm is used here to make a sense of harmoniousness and peace – it is used in Island Man to the same consequence. Both of these poetic signifiers were besides used to a similar consequence in Island Man – initial rhyme was used with the repeat of the missive “S” or sometimes “SH” to reproduce the sound of the sea. Enjambment is besides used in the same manner in Island Man. The metaphor “the periphery of the sea” is really effectual as it gives you the image of the white breaker on the moving ridges. which is similar in form to a periphery. In the concluding line of this stanza ( “we who live upon little islands” ) the geographical difference is noted by utilizing the adjectival “small” – this compares it with larger islands such as Britain. and hence London. so this is similarity to Island Man every bit good.
The 2nd stanza refers back to the thought of waking up with the lines “We like to lift up early /quick in the agile mornings” – this shows the antonym of Island Man’s attitude in the first verse form ; whilst Island Man was loath and unwilling these lines connote avidity and energy. However this is about surely how Island Man must hold felt on his island. as he has different feelings off from it. so they do resemble each other in that sense – demoing both sides of waking up at place and off.
Using the adjectival “quick” to depict them lifting in the forenoons is another manner of demoing energy. which is a contrast to the deficiency of energy in Island Man. The adjectival “agile” is used to the same consequence to depict the forenoon upon the island. The following lines of the stanza reinforce the thought of being close to nature and the sea ( ” and walk out merely little distances / to look down on the water” ) . One evident difference here is that in “Island Man” every line had a significance and held tonss of information. but in “The Fringe Of The Sea” . most lines are supportive of the old and following lines.
The present participial of “swaying” is used in the following stanza to demo on-going activity and gesture. these were besides used in Island Man when he retrieving his place ( “fishermen pushing” ) . Following there is a list of what the sea offers to the people – “with vocals. and tides. and eternal boatways. and undulate forms and moods” . This is non wholly different from Island Man ; there is a short list of what Island Man remembers from his island in the 2nd stanza of the verse form ( “wild sea birds / and fishermen forcing out to sea / the Sun come uping defiantly” ) . The term “endless boatways” is an effectual 1. which connotes that the island-dwellers use the sea in the same manner we use roads.
This is a contrast to modern/western life – which occur often in Island Man. Using the qualifier “undulate” to depict the forms of the moving ridges portrays a strong image of their smooth uninterrupted gesture. There is no usage of personification in the verse form Island Man. but there is some usage of it in The Fringe Of The Sea – the sea’s “moods” are referred to. Bodying the sea here connotes that they really see the sea as a individual. a portion of the community. co-working with the island-dwellers ( supplying nutrient ) .
The 4th stanza is as follows – “We want to be able to stroll beside it / slowpaced in firing sunlight / barearmed. barefoot. bareheaded. ” ) . It begins one time once more by stating what they want to be able to make by the sea. which is to “saunter” – this is really different to the autos on the North Circular in Island Man. The word “slowpaced” besides works to the same consequence. Using initial rhyme of the missive “B” creates a relaxed atmosphere. to mime the ambiance of island life. Alliteration is used in Island Man to make the same consequence.
The first line of the following stanza reinforces the subject of being at one with nature – “and to crouch down to the shallows” . The remainder of the stanza – “sifting the random H2O / between assaying fingers / like husbandmans do with dirt. ” uses a simile to compare island life with western life. It contrasts husbandmans with the island fishermen ( fishermen are besides noted in Island Man ) . This suggests that the island people view the sea as being their harvest Fieldss and dirt as they depend on it merely every bit much as husbandmans depend on their land for nutrient. Both peoples ( husbandmans and island-dwellers ) . although they largely live in different civilizations. crop in the same manner – a strong similarity by usage of a simile is non used in Island Man. Rather than powerful similes it gives its message through many elusive metaphors. Respect it besides suggested by this simile as they co-work together. which is a strong subject in the 2nd verse form. There is good usage of the verb “assaying” which contrasts husbandmans proving the land and the island-dwellers proving the H2O to asses the quality.
Here is the following stanza – “and to believe of turquoise mackerel / turning with masterful grace. / sleek and decorous / and elegant in high chambers” . The readers are told that the though of the sea and it’s crop is adequate to do them happy – this relates back to Island Man as it was merely his ideas that kept him happy. Describing the fish as “turquoise mackerel” is another effectual usage of adjectives as it gives a strong image of perfect. delightful looking fish. Turquoise is besides a valuable rock. which connotes that the island-dwellers see the fish as being cherished to them. This is besides really similar to Island Man naming his place “his little emerald island” – both use cherished rocks to demo both coloring materials and value of an point ( “emerald island” and “turquoise fish” ) .
The remainder of the stanza is about the similarity between the fish swimming and a sophisticated dance hall dance. The following three lines of the stanza usage adjectives to depict the “turquoise fish” in a similar manner that dance hall terpsichoreans can be described. These adjectives are “consummate” . “sleek” . “decorous” and “elegant” – all of which can be related to both fish swimming and sophisticated dance. this shows that the island-dwellers view the fish as being sophisticated and civilised and possibly every bit peers as they need them to last. instead than disregarding them as nil of import as most modern/western people would today. The “high blue chambers” in the concluding line of the stanza refers to the sea. which is similar to their dancing chamber.
The following stanza is a short one one time once more reenforcing the fact that these people ever want to be at one with the sea – they see it as their streets – “We want to be able to walk out into it” . their offices and workplaces – “to work in it” and to animate in it – “dive and swim and drama in it” . Once once more this is a list similar to the one earlier in the verse form – there is besides a short list in Island Man.
The undermentioned stanza is besides a list of verbs. about the things these people want to be able to make in the sea. The first two lines are a contrast to Island Man’s London life ( “to row and canvas / to pilot over it’s sandless highways” ) . The lines are about conveyance – compared to the “soaring” autos on the North Circular in Island Man. The 3rd line ( “and to hear” ) shows that the sound of the sea is adequate to do these people happy – this fits in good with Island Man as he hears the sea in his caput. this is adequate to do him happy. The line is a short 1. with a simple significance on it’s ain to stress merely how of import the sound truly is to these people and how it entirely makes a big difference. This poetic signifier is besides used in the verse form Island Man in the first line ( “Morning” ) to strongly stress a individual point.
The concluding line of the stanza – “it’s call and mutters wherever we may be” is linked by enjambement with the old line. This is besides similar to Island Man. where there are a figure of lines utilizing enjambement for consequence. The line itself seems to resemble precisely how Island Man feels. which shows that the emotions of Island Man and these people are really existent. as two different writers have given them precisely the same feelings and emotions. Island Man hears the sea’s call in his caput and the soothing sounds and mutters. The remainder of line besides fit’s in good with Island Man. as it is about the fact that location isn’t of import to these people – “wherever we may be” broadens the skylines the verse form as had up until now. it has all been “Us” and “We” . but now it has changed. There is no alteration like this in the verse form Island Man because Island Man himself is a symbol of all these people.
The concluding stanza of the verse form – ( “All who have lived upon little islands / want to kip and rouse / stopping point to the periphery of the sea” ) begins by broadening its skylines one time more. It is now wholly inclusive of everybody who has lived upon little islands ( “All who have lived” ) . The verse form now speaks for non merely this community. but besides every individual community like it that exists. Rather than utilizing a elusive metaphor for this ( like Island Man does ) this verse form merely come out and says it – and it is credible as the whole community feels the same manner. so why shouldn’t every other one?
It besides eases you into the state of affairs by get downing to broaden its skylines in the old stanza – nil like this is used in Island Man. The remainder of this stanza is simply a repetiton of the first stanza to convey everything back together and to reenforce the poem’s message. This does happen shut to the terminal of Island Man – it says that “island adult male heaves himself” . which is mentioning back to the fishermen antecedently in the verse form. The unequivocal finalizing of the verse form is besides used at the terminal of Island Man for the same purposes as it is used here in The Fringe Of The Sea.
The Fringe Of The Sea is a verse form I besides enjoyed reading as the writer uses a figure of contrasts between modern/western life and island life which truly makes you believe and inquire which is genuinely better. This verse form is seeking to give a simple message stating us of how content these people are with their simple lives and I believe that this point is delivered good – you can truly experience the emotion of these people in the verse form without utilizing excessively many adjectives. or even many words as it is a simple petition which is repeated throughout the verse form ( all that “we” want is… ) .
Out of the two verse forms I preferred Island Man. chiefly for the ground that it stays as a good verse form in my head no affair how much I read it. Whilst The Fringe Of The Sea reveals its full significance the first clip around you need to read Island Man a few times to to the full understand all of its significances – I personally like this as it the grade of a good poet and it shows that tonss of idea and attempt have gone into the verse form. For me it is the difference in deepness that make Island Man the better verse form of the two.
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