Stormy Weather In the world of poetry, writers use many literary and poetic devices to achieve their end goal, whether the goal is a type of emotional or perhaps some other type of response. In her poem “Storm Warnings,” Adrienne Rich uses unique structural style including many poetic devices, such as structure, imagery, and descriptive language to reveal literal, as well as metaphorical meanings in her poem. This structure lets the poem progress in an organized and chronological manner, in order to explain an external as well as an internal conflict that is being held by the speaker. The emotions of the speaker run parallel to the storm happening on the outside; Rich uses this as the story’s metaphor. The main message of “Storm Warnings” is that one cannot prevent bad things from happening, but some of the time, one is able to stay out of the path of less than desirable situations. “Storm Warnings” is also composed of physical contrasts, such as the contrast between inside the house and outside of the house. This ties into the main idea of internal paralleling external, as well. Although the author is writing about and even describing a literal storm, what she is also writing about are her internal and emotional struggles and conflicts. In the third stanza, the poem refers to the “mastery of elements” (Line 2), speaking of a change in the weather, which also relates to the fact that humans are unable to change or avoid similar changes. The poet describes the fact that she can only watch the storm in the first stanza. This relates to when she talks about how humans are helpless on the inside and only able to “close the shutters” (21). The whistle of the wind, or “whine” (23) as Rich uses, cannot be stopped. The “zone of gray unrest” (4) in the first stanza is made black by the fourth stanza and readers realize that the storm’s threat is not only a physical one, but it threatens her mood. She remains calm even as the storm reaches its climax. The poet
Cited: Johnson, Greg, and Thomas Arp. "Reading the Poem." Perrine 's Literature: Structure Sound & Sense. 12th ed. Belmont: Wadsworth, 2010. 700. Print.
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Rich, Adrienne. "Storm Warnings." Atmos.umd.edu. Web. .