Презентация "Exploring the Poem Grace Nichols “Hurricane Hits England" 8 класс

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ученицы 8-в- класса

МКОУ СОШ №3 с. Камень-Рыболов Ханкайского района Приморского края

Районная конференция «Достижения молодых» (секция английского языка)

Exploring the Poem

Grace Nichols

“Hurricane Hits England”



Чупров Л.А. МКОУ СОШ №3 с. Камень-Рыболов Ханкайского района Приморского края.

Exploring the Poem

Grace Nichols

“Hurricane Hits England”


Nichols was born in Georgetown, Guyana in 1950, the fifth of seven children.

She was raised in the village of Highdam and attended the school where her father worked as headmaster and her mother taught piano lessons

At age eight she moved with her family to Georgetown, and at age sixteen she left high school with the hope of becoming a teacher.

Earning a degree in communications at the University of Guyana, Nichols worked as a journalist for the Georgetown Chronicle, then became a writer for Guyana's Government Information Services.

She began writing poetry and short fiction while working as a journalist.

After moving to England, away from the Caribbean, Nichols began to write poetry more frequently. She read her poetry publicly, had lectures in the Oxford university, in the Cambridge university, and in many other educational centers.

The content

The poem begins by describing how the storm reminded her of the great hurricanes of her childhood in the Caribbean.

In its content, the poem tells of the time when Nichols was kept awake during the “hurricane” that hit England in 1987.

Here the poet is telling us that she feels more at home in England because of the hurricane, because she had witnessed many hurricanes as a child in the Caribbean.

The poet describes the effect the hurricane has on her and her surroundings: “It took a hurricane to bring her closer to the landscape”.

This helps to understand where she is from and also how she used to feel isolated in England.

The context

The context of the poem is quite complicated, because it involves the poet’s own history of moving between cultures – Caribbean and English – and the wider history of both those cultures.

  The structure

In its structure, the poem is written as free verse, with eight stanzas of varying length.

The lines are also of varying length.

  The structure

Perhaps, this helps us to see how unpredictable the hurricane is – and how unpredictable the woman’s thoughts are.


Although there is no formal metre, the words have noticeable rhythm – for example in the repetition of “Talk to me … Talk to me… Talk to me”, or in the similar phrasing of … I am aligning … I am following… I am riding”

The feelings of the poet

The feelings of the poet about the storm are mixed. Nichols describes it as “fearful and reassuring” – it was dangerous and it frightened her as any fierce storm would do – but at the same time it brought back happy memories of her childhood.

The use of the language


Poetry uses vivid images and descriptive language to paint a picture in the reader’s mind, to evoke certain ideas and feelings.

The main poetic devices: epithets, metaphors, similes, personifications, paradoxes convey the drama of the inner and outer storms.

The poem Hurricane hits England is full of natural imagery, mainly because it’s about the effect of wind on the landscape.

The personification

The personification is giving human traits (qualities, feelings, actions, or characteristics) to non-living objects.

For example, Grace has personified the hurricane saying “It took a hurricane to bring her closer to the landscape” or “Talk to me Hurracan”.

In giving the hurricane this title she is claiming that it is a ghost coming to remind her of her culture.

The simile

The simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two different things, usually by employing the words ‘like’ or ‘as’.

The poet uses a simile: “Like some dark ancestral spectre”.

The wind seems to be threatening, it comes out of a dark past.

The use of the sea and items associated with it continues as the trees are compared to “falling as whales” An affinity for the natural world is displayed further by this since the trees are being unrooted – as Grace feels she is.

The paradox

The paradox is a logical statement or group of statements that lead to the contradiction or a situation which defies logic or reason. “fearful and reassuring” is a paradox.

One more example of a paradox is “The blinding illumination…”. The storm both helps her to see and understand and stops her from seeing. The light is so bright and blinding.

The storm seems alive and powerful, and seems to be trying to communicate with someone. It is dangerous – but at the same time bringing back happy memories of her childhood.

The epithet

The epithet is a descriptive term (word or phrase) accompanying or occurring in a place of a name. “The howling ship of the wind” is a transferred epithet. It draws attention to the natural image, which shows why she loves the tropical winds; they have travelled across the ocean like a ship, as did she.

The metaphor

The metaphor is a figure of speech in which two things are compared, usually by saying one thing is another, or by substituting a more descriptive word that would be expected. The example is “Reaping havoc”.

The woman doesn’t understand why “old tongues” should reap havoc in England. “Break the frozen lake in me” is a metaphor too. Here we see that the depth of her identity had been hidden from her.

She had been cold and superficial, all surface. “I’m riding the mystery of your storm”.

The character seems elated by the experience, taken along by and a part of the storm and its energies.

The refrain

The refrain is a phrase, line, or group of lines that is repeated in the poem. “I am aligning… I am following… I am riding…”, “Talk to me…Talk to me…Talk to me…”, “The earth is the earth is the earth - reminiscent of Caribbean limbo dancing.

The alliteration

The alliteration is the repetition of the same consonant sounds at any place, but often at the beginning of the words. “It took the hurricane to bring her closer to the landscape” – creates some rhythm reminding the sea waves or gasps of wind.

The assonance

The assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds. “I am aligning… I am following… I am riding…” – we hear the author breathing with delight. One also can hear echo in these phrases

The exclamation

The exclamations towards the end also help us to understand how the woman is feeling and contribute to the tone of the poem. She becomes excited at the power of the storm and the thoughts that awakes in her: “Oh why is my heart unchained?”, “Ah sweet mystery…” “Come to let me know”.

The use of Caribbean language

The author uses Caribbean language for the names of gods Hurragan, Oya and Shango.

They are echoes of her past in the Caribbean. They help the author to create a special

atmosphere of the world made for people no matter in what part of the planet they live. She says in an interview:

“I like working in both Standard English and Creole

I tend to want to fuse the two tongues because I come from a background where the two worlds were constantly interacting”

Possible themes

Having explored the poem we can come to the conclusion that the main themes of it may be “Living between two cultures”, “Identity” and “Nature”.

The reader’s feelings

My feelings when I read the poem, are to remember how storm makes you realize the power of Nature, and it makes me wonder if I would be happy to go and live in a different country and culture. I enjoyed the poem and its well crafted free verse, with the chaotic rhythm resembling the wind.

The conclusion

Grace Nichols celebrates life with particular warmth in her beautiful, though contradictious poem “Hurricane Hits England”. On the one hand, being terrified by the storm she sends a message to the reader that the earth is so unpredictable; on the other hand, she is happy to be part of this world

The sense that England and the Caribbean are all part of the same planet is spelled out in the poem’s last line. This reads like a tautology but expresses Ms. Nichols’ sense that the reader needs to know the essential nature of the earth. It may by an imitation of a line by the comic writer Gertrude Stain, who wrote that “ Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose”..