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Analysis of "Hurricane hits England" by Grace Nichols

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Introduction

Elena Vignotti Grace Nichols ?HURRICANE HITS ENGLAND? The poem ?hurricane hits England? was written by Grace Nichols in 1987, when a strong storm hit the south part of England and caused huge damages. Grace Nichols was born in the Caribbean and emigrated later on in her life to England, for that reason her poems are often about Caribbean tradition, culture and rhythm or have a Caribbean meaning behind it. Also the poem ?hurricane hits England? refers to the authors home country; the storm is described as a hurricane which is a tropical cyclone originating in the North Atlantic or North Pacific. Grace Nichols describes her feelings during the night of the storm, when she was living in England. The author interprets the tempest as a way of the Caribbean, her home country, telling her ?that the earth is the earth is the earth?, in verse 36. This is the whole meaning of the poem, she can feel at home everywhere because our earth is the same everywhere. ...read more.

Middle

This is also evident in verse 7, with the use of the paradox ?fearful and reassuring?. On the one hand is the storm dangerous and fearful, but on the other hand it is reassuring because it reminds her of her origins and it is something familiar to her. This relation with the ancestors is also visible in verse 6, in the sentence ?like some dark ancestral spectre?, she is involving the ghosts of her ancestors that originally came from Africa and were then brought to the Caribbean as slaves. Furthermore also in verse 16, ?of old tongues?, she is implicating the gods of the Caribbean, her ancestors and their language. She is wondering why they came to England, ?in new place?, verse 18, and later realises that it is a message from the Caribbean for her. An additional paradox, an oxymoron, is also used by the author, in verse 19, ?the blinding illumination?, to emphasise the reaction that the people are having to this strong and unexpected storm. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is another use of a paradox, in the last stanza, in verse 32, ?ah, sweet mystery?. The word ?ah? is also a sign of relief and in the following verses, she talks about ?break the frozen lake in me, shaking the foundations of the very trees within me?. The ?frozen lake? could represent her heart, which was with no emotions and now is getting released. It could also symbolise the spring, which comes after the winter, the frozen lake melt and the trees are reborn. It also emphasises the fact that now that the author has understood that the earth is always the same everywhere, she can start a new life in a new place, like the trees in spring she is reborn. The last two verses, verse 35 and 36, are the most important ones, because it?s when Grace Nichols realises ?that the earth is the earth is the earth.? This is the reason why the hurricane came to England from so far away, to tell her, that where ever she is, she can always feel at home. ...read more.

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