English-During wind and rain
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The first five lines of each verse contain a reflection in which the poet remembers scenes of family activity. This is contrasted with the last two lines in which the poets comes back to the harsh reality that everything has changed. The overriding mood in the first half of each stanza is of joy and happiness. We can see this from the weather in stanzas two to four as although not directly stated, the fact that there is shade and a summer tree suggests that the weather is sunny and bright. These conditions give an overriding sense of happiness and joy
In contrast the mood in the last line of each stanza is completely different. A sense of nostalgia and sadness is conveyed as the poet comes to terms with what once was. This is shown again by the weather with the poet’s description of rain and storm birds. The storm birds are said to "wing across" suggesting that they are being blown about in the strong wind. Also the fact that they are storm birds suggests they are used to stormy conditions so the storm must be extremely powerful to be able to blow them off course. The weather, which here has connotations of danger and gloominess which link with the mood of the last lines, is used symbolically as it portrays the poet’s mood as if his feelings were directly linked to the conditions. This is significant as it shows that something good can not last forever. In the past the poet’s life was full of bliss, but now time has taken away that happiness and contentment and left him depressed and sad
Although weather is used symbolically in this poem, the use of nature as a symbol is even more significant in portraying the power of the natural world. The inhabitants of the house try to ‘tame’ nature and control it. We can see this as they make the “pathways neat” and “clear the creeping moss”. The poet also calls the fowl a “pet” which shows they had managed to make it submit to their authority. However over time nature has taken control again which we can see from the poet’s description of the garden now: “sick leaves reel down in throngs” suggests nature’s power and authority. The fact that the leaves are sick signifies they are old and weary and have now succumbed to nature. The use of the word “throngs” suggests that there is a very large number of leaves being blown off the tree and this again vividly demonstrates the supremacy of nature. The fact that the garden has been overcome shows that we can never tame nature and in the passage of time we will eventually be overthrown by nature's dominance.
word choice rose
One example of this is “the rotten rose was ripped from the wall”. “Rose” has connotations of love and in the past the rose would have sat in the garden with great beauty. However the rose is now said to be “rotten”. This contradicts the attractiveness of the rose with an image of death and decay making the rose now seem unattractive and diseased. This contributes to the feeling that nature can never be tamed as eventually even something as beautiful as a rose will succumb to its power.
word choice plough
The power of nature is shown again in “Down their carved names the raindrop ploughs”. The use of “plough” to describe the movement of a raindrop is unusual as raindrops are delicate and fragile things which we would usually associate with dripping or falling. Plough has connotations of farming and cultivating so the use of it in terms of a raindrop makes the rain seem more powerful than it actually is. This is significant on two fronts. In the first place, it emphasizes the power nature has over mankind. This feeling is increased by the fact the raindrop is destroying their carved names -most likely from a gravestone or maybe from names engraved in a tree. This shows that nature has control over you even when you die and that even the last known piece of your existence –your name- may be wiped off the earth by nature. The second significance is that although rain may not seem to be powerful enough to plough things on its own, through the passage of time rain falling on the same spot will cause it to erode with the strength of ploughing. This is significant as it shows that over time nature’s strength can become stronger and more powerful, as is shown in the poem when over the course of time the weather prevails and the garden falls into a state of neglect. This picture powerfully conveys the poet’s despair at the inevitability of aging and its accompanying decay.
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