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Background on the poet
· She was born in 1950 in
Georgetown, Guyana.
· She moved to England in
1977.
· She now lives in Brighton
with her husband (also a
poet) and her daughter.
· The poem is based on a true
experience she had when a
hurricane hit the coast of
England in 1987.…read more

Slide 3

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The poem
When reading the poem, think about the
following things:
· How the hurricane is described ­ how does
it move?
· How does Nichols feel about the hurricane
in the poem.
· Does she see the hurricane as a positive or
negative event?…read more

Slide 4

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Hurricane hits England
It took a hurricane, to bring her closer
To the landscape.
Half the night she lay awake,
The howling ship of the wind,
5Its gathering rage,
Like some dark ancestral spectre.
Fearful and reassuring.
Talk to me Huracan
Talk to me Oya
10 Talk to me Shango
And Hattie,
My sweeping, back-home cousin.
Tell me why you visit
An English coast?
15 What is the meaning
Of old tongues
Reaping havoc
In new places?…read more

Slide 5

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The blinding illumination,
20 Even as you short-
Circuit us
Into further darkness?
What is the meaning of trees
Falling heavy as whales
25 Their crusted roots
Their cratered graves?
O why is my heart unchained?
Tropical Oya of the Weather,
I am aligning myself to you,
30 I am following the movement of your winds,
I am riding the mystery of your storm.
Ah, sweet mystery,
Come to break the frozen lake in me,
Shaking the foundations of the very trees within me,
35 Come to let me know
That the earth is the earth is the earth…read more

Slide 6

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Hurricane hits England
It took a hurricane, to bring her closer Written in the third person.
To the landscape. Metaphors and similes are
Half the night she lay awake, used to describe the
The howling ship of the wind,
5 Its gathering rage, hurricane and its actions ­
Like some dark ancestral spectre. why are these effective?
Fearful and reassuring.
Talk to me Huracan Written in the first person. Talking
Talk to me Oya directly to the hurricane, using names
10 Talk to me Shango
And Hattie, she would have used in the
My sweeping, back-home cousin. Caribbean. Both of these things make
the poem sound more personal now.
Tell me why you visit
An English coast?
15 What is the meaning She is reminded of her
Of old tongues
Reaping havoc childhood and her roots. Does
In new places? she think this positive or
negative?…read more

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