Hughes uses a variety of poetic techniques to create an effective description of a windy day. He uses a lot of figurative language, such as metaphor, simile and personification. Hughes also creates the effect of a windy day using structural techniques such as enjambement, and the sound technique onomatopoeia. He often uses interesting lexis to help our imaginations.
Hughes uses a lot of figurative language in this poem. One particularly effective technique is metaphor. He starts the poem with the metaphor –
“This house has been far out at sea all night”
This is very effective because it creates a very strong picture in your mind. “Far out” suggests isolation, and a mention of night suggests danger and fear.
Another effective example of metaphor is “The skyline a grimace”. This suggests that the whole view and landscape is grotesquely distorted. A grimace means to pull a strange face, so this makes it an example of personification. The mental image is very clear too.
Simile is another example of figurative language use by Hughes in this particular poem.
“Flexing like the lens of a mad eye”
This suggests that the view is constantly moving with the wind and the movement in my mind is visualised as everything bending, swaying and generally looking contorted.
Similes are used throughout Hughes’s poem. Another magnificent example of a simile is
“Rang like some fine green goblet”
This makes the house seem very delicate, as a glass will shatter if it resonates at a certain pitch. Glass is brittle anyway, so using this particular material as a simile would automatically suggest fragility.
Another example of simile is “Black gull bent like an iron bar slowly”. This suggests that the gull is fighting against the wind’s strength with all it’s might. The mental picture it puts into my mind is very clear, and it makes me think that the wind is very powerful.
Personification is a type of figurative language, giving an inanimate object humane characteristics. An example of personification occurs in line 13 of the poem:
“The fields quivering, the skyline a grimace”
The fields are ‘quivering’ which suggests that they are afraid of the wind, and are shaking and ducking down to avoid the devastation that the wind can cause. In actual fact, the wind makes the grass bend over.
Hughes uses structural techniques in his poetry, and enjambement is the one that probably stands out the most.