Storm on the Island- Seamus Heaney

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  • Created by: lucyaa
  • Created on: 13-04-17 17:25
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  • Storm on the Island-Seamus Heaney
    • Power and Conflict
      • suggests a community preparing to endure a wartime bombing
        • "we are prepared: we built our houses squat"
      • humans are in conflict with nature but are helpless
    • Fear of nature
      • he realises he is powerless in the storm -like being under enemy fire
        • "we just sit tight while wind dives /And strafes invisibly"
      • anticipation shown by silence before the wind
        • "you can listen to the thing you fear"
      • "it is a huge nothing we fear"
        • questions whether the fear is real, and what he is actually afraid of
      • "Nor are there trees/Which might prove company"
        • nature is fighting itself leaving him isolated.
    • Background
      • his father was a cattle dealer + farmed 50 acres
      • it describes being in a cliff-top cottage on an island off the coast of Ireland during a storm
    • Vocabulary
      • wizened
        • dried up, shrivelled
      • stacks/stocks
        • haystacks/shocks of corn sheaves
      • strafes
        • bombards, harasses with artillery shell
      • salvo
        • simultaneous firing of artillery
    • structure
      • nine-teen lines of black verse
        • unrhyming lines each containing 5 beats
      • verse form follows natural patterns of spoken english
        • makes the reader feel like Heaney is talking to them
    • Language
      • title is blunt and unspecific
        • he isn't talking about 1 storm, but many similar storms showing he's used to it
      • written in the present tense  creating a sense of drama and shows storms are frequent
      • speaks in a friendly tone to involve the reader to stop isolation
        • "you know what I mean"
        • "the thing you fear"
        • "you might think"
      • warlike language
        • "bombarded by the empty air"
          • paradoxical- empty air cannot bombard
        • "space is salvo"
          • dangerous to go outside
        • "strafes invisibly"
    • Techniques
      • enjambment
        • "When it blows full/Blast"
          • gust of wind suddenly blasts at the start of the line
        • "a tame cat/Turned savage"
          • shows the shock of the cat's sudden change in behaviour
          • simile that turns a familiar pet into the enemy
      • personification
        • "wizened"
          • giving wisdom to land and shows age
        • "the sea is company, exploding comfortably"
          • sea becomes cruel when there are storms
      • sound
        • alliteration
          • "rock and roof" enforces strength of the house
        • noise of the wind could be like an orchestra
          • "tragic chorus in gale"
        • s + f sounds in dives and strafes mimics the wind
      • repetition
        • "Nor are there trees"- "no trees, no natural shelter"
          • emphasises his vulnerability
      • caesura
        • full stops symbolise waiting- builds anticipation

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