Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Seamus Heaney - Storm On The Island


Key Themes
-Natural Power
-Fear and Isolation
-Mans Relationship with Nature

Key Techniques
-Blank Verse
-Enjambment
-Caesura
-Assonance
-Oxymoron
-Metaphors and Similes

Lines 1-5:
Seamus repeats the word 'we' to show that the people on the island are not alone and is also expressing that although a storm is brewing; he feels safe in himself - a sense of community. To prepare themselves for the storm - they built their houses with very thick walls and exceedingly good slate on the roofs to ensure their safety is ahead. Assonance is used as the repetition of a vowel sound is used; 'roof' and 'good'. The word wizened can have many meanings - such as shrivelled, old and feeble, but also can mean wise and experienced as a strength. No nature in sight, not a thing growing - 'the earth has never troubled us'. In Line 1 there is an example of caesura; this is when there is deliberate pause in the middle of a sentence to create effect. After the word 'prepared' there is a ':' - this represents a caesura.

At the end of lines 1 and 2; there are end breaks and also many comma's and fullstops to emphasize the drama towards how much they are preparing for the storm. In the rest of the poem enjambment is used to make the poem flow continuously. There is only one stanza in the poem; this is used for a dramatic value as Seamus is creating the effect the the storm is on going - never ending.

Lines 6-10:
The effect of enjambment in these few lines begin with '.. full Blast'; this is an unexpected word and most definitely catches the reader out. In line 7, conversational tone is used; this addresses the reader and draws their attention to the poem by ensuring it as being more personal in Seamus' view for reassurance; the leaves and branches show that he is not alone and has always got someone to be reassured by. Heaney uses the word 'chorus' to show how the storm keeps returning and will not go away full time. He also describes the wind as being a human characteristic; 'it pummels your house' - this is personifying the wind, referring to the fact that the wind is annoying and almost like he is in a constant row with the wind itself. He explains how the wind from one moment could be tame and calm, then within an instance it could become wild and violent with no answer as to why. He uses personification by describing a cat being calm then the next moment, due to one particular reason - the animal turns vicious.



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