Seamus Heaney - Storm on the Island revision notes

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  • Created on: 23-05-10 15:39
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Seamus Heaney ­ Storm on the Island Revision Notes
Key Words
""we are prepared" as if for battle against elements
"build houses squat" strong. uncomfortable + temporary (squat)
Links to "rock and roof" and "slate" ironic how use materials of Earth to defend against Earth
"wizened Earth" ­ uninhabitable, against people
Links "as you can see", "you know what I mean"­ Poet nice/conversational to humans..Earth not
Links to "trees Which might prove company" ­ Land is human company, water (storm) is not
"tragic chorus" ­ oxymoron, what we think is wrong isn't to Earth (more powerful//knowledge)
"you listen to the thing you fear" ­ repeat "you", reader fears weather, not poet (mocking?)
Links to "huge nothing that we fear" at end, undermining/mocking reader's "fear" of nothing
"no trees" ­ Question and Answer to "trees Which might prove company", poet knows answer/what we fear
Links to "no natural shelter" Nature isn't helping/protecting humans
Links to "you might think", "But no" ­question and answer, poet showing knowledge
"exploding comfortable" ­ juxtaposition and personification ­ doing what it wants when it wants (no care)
"tame cat Turned savage" ­ personification waiting/calculating
As "Turned savage" is at start of line, with capital letter, suggest "savage" overrules "tame cat"
"bombarded by the empty air. Strange, it is a huge nothing that we fear"
At end of poem, anticlimax (build up to undermine poem), showing nothing to be scared of
"We are prepared:" ­ colon used for start of list, listing how we are ready for battle
Lots of "." and "," ­ as if waves braking, waves forming on top of each other, crashing, irregular, stormlike
Wave structure ­ comfortable, sturdy, powerful ­ nature SHOULD be like this, it is humans who are
Lots of "s" sounds ­ sibilance ­ sound of waves
Conversational tone ­ he isn't scared the way that humans are, humans are wrong to fear
Iambic pentameter (10 syllables per line) ­ regularity in storm/nature, but slightly broken, craziness of storm
Ideas and poems vs.
We can never control nature, although we are prepared in one sense, really, we are not
vs. Patrolling Barnegat ­ "s" sibilance for storm, fear and dread of anticipating storm
vs. Difficult Birth ­ presentation of nature
vs. Field Mouse ­ Fear and dread of past/future, nature vs. humans
vs. Sonnet ­ No complexity in nature vs. complex emotions of nature + humans


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