Who wrote the poem?
What technique is used here “We are prepared: we build our houses squat”
What does the line “We are prepared: we build our houses squat” imply about the island?
Storms happen often so they build low houses
“This wizened earth has never troubled us”. What does “wizened” mean?
Old, shrivelled and experienced
What is the effect created by the line “blows full blast”?
The repeated “bl” sound provides emphasis
“It pummels your house too”. What kind of word is “pummels”?
What is the effect of the line “it pummels your house”?
The verb choice sounds really violent
It’s a personification of the wind
“But there are no trees, no natural shelter”. How does the speaker feel about the island?
He resents the fact there isn’t any shelter in a storm
The wind “spits like a tame cat turned savage”. What technique has the writer used?
What is the effect of the repeated “S” sound in “spits like a tame cat turned savage”.?
It actually sounds like a spitting cat
“Space is a salvo”. What does “salvo” mean?
Rapid firing of artillery
What does “Strange, it is a huge nothing that we fear” suggest?
We are afraid of something that can’t really hurt us
The storm is just empty air, not a real threat
What is the theme explored in this poem?
The power of nature
Fear and Isolation
What other poem in the cluster looks at the power of nature?
Exposure and The Prelude
Where is the poet from?
What is a lot of Seamus’ poetry about?
The countryside and farm life of his childhood
What conflict is the poem about?
The violence in Northern Ireland
“We are prepared” What tone does this convey?
“as you see” (line 4), “you know what I mean” (line 7),”You might think” (line 12)
are common conversational tags and convey a familiar, friendly tone
The poem is written in unrhymed lines each containing five beats or feet. Otherwise known as
What is the effect on the reader of this use of blank verse by Heaney?
gives the poem a conversational rhythm
What ideas does the poet explore?
In-hospitality and cruelty of nature
How is man presented as in the poem?
Man is presented as insignificant compared to the natural world. The poem emphasises these feelings of helplessness.
What does the poem encourage the reader to do?
The poem encourages readers to question the source of human fear: is it the unknown that frightens us the most?
What is Stormont?
Stormont is a suburb of Belfast. It was the site of Parliament House from 1928–30.
What can the poem be interpreted as a metaphor for?
The poem has also been interpreted as a metaphor for the conflict in Northern Ireland.
The poem shows the community’s feelings of security turn into…
What are some of the key ideas raised in the poem?
Man’s insignificance compared to nature
Inhospitality and credulity of nature
Complete the sentence:
The rhythm and rhyme scheme are unpredictable…
… reflecting the unpredictable nature of the storm.
How does the poet make the storm seem even more threatening to the reader?
By directly addressing the reader.
It makes it as though it is happening to you too.
How does the structure change in the poem?
The poet goes from images of security to images of danger
What quotations show images of danger?
"Blows full blast" "It pummels your house too" "Exploding" "Spits like a tame cat / Turned savage" "We are bombarded"
What quotations show images of safety?
“Sink walls in rock and roof them with good slate”
“Never troubled us”
Why does Heaney contrasts images of safety and danger in Storm on the Island?
To emphasise the irony of the islanders feeling sage before they are attacked
To highlight how powerless man is compared to nature
What are example of metaphors regarding military?
“We just sit tight while wind dives / And strafes invisibly. Space is a salvo. / We are bombarded by the empty air.”
What words in the poem could be associated with air attacks?
What is the purpose of the military imagery in the poem?
To emphasise how violent and aggressive the storm is
What is an example if a simile in the poem?
“spits like a tame cat / Turned savage”
What impression does the simile “spits like a tame cat / Turned savage” give?
That the storm is wild and uncontrollable.
It reminds the reader that something that seems so innocent can be deadly.
What does the use of enjambment in the poem highlight?
How the storm can not be contained or controlled.
What two words are juxtaposed in the final line?
“huge” and “nothing” in “huge nothing that we fear”
What does the juxtaposition in the final line emphasise?
How strange the situation is.
Despite huge preparations, ultimately it is only air (something that cannot even be seen or touched) that is frightening.
What is one of the main ironies of the poem? (give a quotation to back this up)
That the islander’s think they are safe at that start. This is ironic because the storm completely overpowers them.
“We are prepared” is full of irony.
What does the use of caesura in the opening line reinforce?
The idea that the islanders feel safe - it conveys the speaker’s certainty, as well as the sense they are safely barricaded in their homes
What does Heaney use in the poem to show how weak man is compared to nature?
What is the opening line?
“We are prepared: we build our houses squat”
What are key comparisons in the poem?
Power of nature Vs Power of humans
Unpleasant and/or powerful experiences
What poems could you compare unpleasant and/or powerful experiences in Storm on the Island to?
The Prelude Exposure London Remains Bayonet Charge
What poems could you compare the power of nature vs power of human in Storm on the Island to?
Which poems could you compare Storm on the Island to on both the themes of ‘power of nature vs power of humans’ and ‘unpleasant and/or powerful experiences’?
Exposure and The Prelude