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English Language Assignment A: Response to Poetry from Other Cultures and Traditions

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Introduction

English Language Assignment A: Response to Poetry from Other Cultures and Traditions Many poets write about the power of nature. Using 'Hurricane Hits England' by Grace Nichols and 'Storm on the Island' by Seamus Heaney, discuss which poet in your opinion has conveyed the power of a storm most vividly. Both poets use the power of nature to indicate the violence of the storm. 'Storm on the Island' by Seamus Heaney is from death of a naturalist and was written in 1991. 'Hurricane Hits England' by Grace Nichols was written in 1967. Both poets use the content, structure and language of the poem to express the power of Nature, from different cultural and gender perspectives. Nichols writes about an incident in England when a Hurricane hits the coast, she thinks that the storm is following her because she lived in the Caribbean where Hurricanes were more common. Heaney writes about an incident on an Irish island when a storm hits a house. ...read more.

Middle

by empty air" Heaney is very confident that the storm wont damage his house because he has spent so long building it " we are prepared: we build are houses squat". I think Heaney is trying to tell us that no matter what we do as humans we can not control the power of nature. Both poets seem confident that the storm wont damage their property but they both underestimate the power of nature. Heaney describes the water hitting the cliffs as "Exploding comfortably down the cliffs" Nichols describes the trees "falling heavy as whales" this means the trees are falling with a big thud. In the structure of 'storm on the island' there are 19 lines and three sections. In section one Heaney is confident that the storm won't damage his house "Sink walls in rock and roof them with good slate". In section two Heaney starts to realise the power of nature and his confidence weakens "So that you listen to the thing that you fear". ...read more.

Conclusion

Nichols uses equally strong words such as "havoc", "Hurricane", "rage" and "cratered graves". Heaney describes the storm very vividly when he says "the flung spray hit the very windows, spits like a tame cat turned savage." What he means here is that you wouldn't expect a tame cat to turn savage in the same way you wouldn't expect the calm sea to get so rough. I did not find the descriptions in 'Hurricane Hits England' interesting and found it hard to relate to the metaphor of whales since I have only seen a whale once. I thought both poets used striking images but Heaneys more so; I particularly liked Heaneys comparison of the storm to war and his display of the isolation and loneliness in rural life. I enjoyed storm on the island most as he used vivid descriptions of the storm to war. I found this metaphor help me visualise the storm. In 'Hurricane Hits England' I thought the structure was very different, changing from third person to first person to show the movement from description to feeling was effective. ...read more.

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