The Storm

In recent weeks, Year 8 students have studied D.H Lawrence's poem 'The Storm'. They have thought carefully about the language used to present the storm and also the way in which the poem helps us to understand the world around us. There was some very perceptive discussion that connected some of the themes with our current situation, particularly when thinking about the power that nature has over humans. One student took on an extra creative challenge to rewrite the poem for a contemporary audience and the outcome was exceptional. The poet carefully mirrored the structure of Lawrence's work and her piece of writing is exceptionally powerful. We would also like to share part of Maryam's superb essay, in which she thinks carefully about the connotations of the language that Lawrence uses.

Day after day passes, months go by unnoticed
Death after death, hospitals groan aloud
It does not discriminate
But we do.

The power of nature screams
our supposed intellect is shamed
we thought we were dominant
As it takes lives unknowingly.

And it won’t stop, the spread refuses to stop!

These are the symptoms that humans are supposed to have destroyed
shackled in plates in labs!

Or so we thought.

How Does Lawrence Present the Storm?
Lawrence portrays the storm in its different stages throughout the poem. It starts at the time before nightfall, as he describes what I imagine to be the sun setting. Through the use of the adjective “bronzey’ in stanza one, the author describes the sky to be a reddish – brown tone. The sibilant sounds of “soft sky” imply that the beginning of the storm is peaceful. The connotations of the word “soft” include tender, gentle and mild, hinting that this is how the storm starts.

In the rest of stanza one,Lawrence describes the lighting as fluid. He goes on to write “jugful after jugful of pure white liquid fire, bright white, tipples over and spills down, and is gone and gold flutters beat through the thick upper air.” The repetition of the word “jugful” shows that the strikes of lightning are coming down multiple times. Furthermore, the verb “spills” means to cause something to flow over the edge of its container, especially unintentionally. This could be implying that the spillage of this “white liquid fire” is accidental, and that you cannot control where it lands. The term “gold-bronze flutters” describes something of a gold-bronze colour floating up back into the dense clouds again. I assume the author describes the embers rising back up as an aftermath of the lightning. This makes me, as a reader, feel on edge at first, but then a sense of relief as the frenzy comes to an end.

In stanza two, the storm is presented as uncontrollable. Lawrence states that “a still brighter white snake wriggles among it, spilled and tumbling wriggling down the sky.” The metaphor used to describe the lightning as a snake implies that the lightning is quick and dangerous, ready to attack at any moment. Snakes are known for being venomous or poisonous creatures that, when in the wild, you can’t tame, and so relates back to the fact that you cannot hold any authority over the bright white snakes in this poem, better known as lightning. The verb “spilled”is used to describe a sudden fall that was caused by accident and done clumsily. The connotations of these words include falling and dropping, leading myself as a reader to imagine ‘Nature’ unintentionally causing the clouds to overflow. However, the connotations of “tumbling” include rapid falls and performing acrobatics. This thought of ‘Nature’ almost putting on a show for us could be a message that we have no hold over it, and also opposes what I wrote earlier about lightning being accidental. Lawrence’s choice of using both these words could imply the fact that we have no way of telling, just as we have no way of commanding Nature’s forces.

Posted 12 May 2020


Click here to view our news archive  

Howell's School provides tremendous "value-added" in terms of public examination results, which are consistently higher than predicted in independent assessments.

Speaker Council 2017 fairtrade gdst NACE Careers Wales Mark REQM Gold Logo HSL trained to teach

© Howells Cardiff    |    Cardiff Road, Cardiff, CF5 2YD   |    Tel: 029 2056 2019   |    Fax: 029 2057 8879

Disclaimer   |    Privacy Policy   |    Sitemap    |    Site by Blue Level