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Poetry Analysis on ‘Wind’ by Ted Hughes

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The poem ‘Wind’ by Ted Hughes is about the power and the ferocity of wind, the speaker puts forwards how demonic ‘Wind’ can be, it can make everything around him quiver, shiver and fear. The title ‘Wind’ is used as a proper noun, the speaker differentiates the winds in nature to ‘Wind’ he is talking about; the one he is talking about is a demonic creature. In the first stanza, the speaker changes his settings, he starts by saying there is a tempest in the sea and he is stranded in the ship, then he mentions the woods, then the hills and later the fields. The setting of field and the hills is carried forward till stanza three and four. And the poem ends with the setting of house, where the speaker is sitting with his family near the fireplace. The tone used by the speaker is of awe. He is awestruck by the destruction caused by the wind. ‘Wind’, is given demonic characteristics, it is powerful enough to change the position of the settlements, it has luminous and emerald eyes which move in a random movement and it causes wilful destruction.

Onomatopoeic words are used throughout the poem to intensify the monstrous nature of ‘Wind’ and create auditory imagery of loudness. Words such as ‘crashing’, ‘booming’, ‘bang’, ‘flap’, ‘rang’ and ‘shatter’. Loudness adds up to the monstrous wind. The speaker also uses personification, in stanza 1, line 3, he says ‘Winds stampeding the fields’, winds are given a human characteristic of rushing wildly, the use of personification here is to create a terrified image of winds in the reader’s mind. It does not spare the fields. The next use of personification also related to the fields in Stanza 4, line 1, ‘The fields quivering’, however, here the field is personified, it is left terrified and cold. Perhaps this line is in continuation with line 3 in stanza 1. Moreover, in stanza 3, the speaker says ‘I dared once to look up- Through the brunt wind that dented the balls of my eyes’, Wind was so strong that it left a strong impression on the eye of the speaker as he looked up, dented his eyeballs with a blade. To bring out the weak aspect of nature compared to the wind, the speaker uses the lexical set of helplessness.

This set includes words such as ‘floundering’, ‘black’, ‘astride’, ‘blinding’, ‘flexing’, ‘dented’, ‘drummed’, ‘strained’, ‘quivering’, ‘grimace’, ‘shatter’ and ‘tremble’. Nature The speaker is also a victim of the wind along with the nature. The demonstrative adjective ‘This’ in the opening line of the poem justifies that the speaker is also a victim of wind and is a dictic marker that tells the position of the speaker. In stanza 3, Line 1 and 2, the speaker says ‘At noon I scaled along the house-side as far as ….The coal- house door’ even walking a very short distance was a challenge for the speaker. The speaker uses a strong metaphor, to compare the hills to the tent, he says ‘The tent of the hills drummed and strained its guyrope,’ the wind has shaken the foundation of the hills, the guyrope is personified to be strained to hold the tent.

The helplessness of the nature is further described in stanza 4. In line 1, stanza 4, the fields are subjugated; they are personified to be quivering. And the present tense used in the poem is used to show that the action is still continued. Even the skyline has been affected, the speaker says ‘the skyline a grimace’, it has contorted by the effect of the wind. ‘The wind flung a magpie away and a black- Back gull bent like a iron bar slowly’ because of the centrifugal pressure, even the birds have been taken away and are seen as a dot. Everything in the nature yearns to be released by the wind. In stanza 5, line 1, the speaker compares the fragility of the house to the goblet, the wind like the sound of the opera singers is loud enough to shatter the windows of the house. The enjambment used in the poem is very important as it adds to the demonic Wind and victimizes the speaker, in stanza 3, line 1, the speaker says ‘At noon I scaled along the house-side as far as’ ‘as far as’ is enjambed with ‘The coal-house door’, the distance seems to be long until the reader reads the next line.

In stanza 5, line 2, ‘Now deep’ is enjambed with ‘In chairs, in front of the great fire’, without the reading the next line, the reader could assume the speaker is deep in darkness, thoughts or trouble. In stanza 5, the wind has invaded the house and the mind of the speaker as well. He says ‘….we grip Our hearts and cannot entertain book, thought’ the speaker and his wife, would like to divert their thoughts, but the wind has invaded their mind. In stanza 6, the speaker continues the enjambed line ‘….cannot entertain book, thought,’ with ‘Or each other’. This enjambment hints at the turmoil between his wife and him. The lexical set of the weak foundation of house in the following stanza include phrases such as ‘roots of the house move,’ ‘window tremble’, and ‘stones cry out’.

The wind is described as the troubled relationship with his wife, which wrecks havoc within him. In the last line of stanza 5 and the first line of stanza 6, the speaker says ‘we grip our hearts and cannot entertain book, thought… Or each other’, the problems between the two have increased to an extent that everything around is destroyed, changes have been made, everything around has been sinister (orange sky in early morning; stanza 2, line 1) and yearns to be returned to its natural self, but the speaker is helpless and incapable of doing anything.

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