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How are nature and its effects explored in the poems Patrolling Barnegat and Storm on the Island?

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How are nature and its effects explored in the poems Patrolling Barnegat and Storm on the Island? Introduction Both of the poems were written in the present tense. In Patrolling Barnegat, the events of the poem are being described as they happen, for example, "A group of dim, weird forms". Also, In Storm on the Island, they are many examples of the use of the present tense, for example, "We are prepared". In both of the poems, the use of the present tense fills us with uncertainty about what will happen next and conveys a sense of drama to us. The storyline is very similar in both of the poems. They are both centred on storms at sea. ...read more.


Nature is also explored through the description of the sea in both poems. In Whitman's piece, the word "patrolling", which is used in the title, gives us the feeling that the poet is not patrolling the shores from any kind of military attack etc, but from nature itself. His language to describe the sea is very comprehensive, and words like "piercing" and "lashing" really convey a sense of danger to the reader. In Heaney's piece, the language used is not as graphical, although, there is one example of one such phrase, "turned savage". This refers to the change of the simile, "spits like a tame cat". The two phrases together describe the sea and its unpredictability. ...read more.


In the two poems, there are military images through-out. For example, in Patrolling Barnegat, Whitman uses the phrase "watchful and firm advancing". The word advancing in this phrase conveys the belief that the wind is almost like an army. Also, in Storm on the Island, Heaney writes, "we are bombarded by the empty air" and the word bombarded was initially derived from the word bomb, something which we very much associate with the army. This makes us feel that he is, like Whitman, trying to convey a military image. In Whitman's poem, he tries to convey that the sea is a very dangerous place through his language and phrases. For example, "is that a wreck" and "death-wind breasting". I believe that the word wreck (meaning shipwreck) is very influential in his poem as there could be people injured or even dead through this accident, and the reader becomes concerned for their safety. Conlusion ...read more.

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