Study Guide

Wind Awe and Amazement

By Ted Hughes

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Awe and Amazement

then under an orange sky
The hills had new places, and wind wielded
Blade-light, luminous black and emerald,
Flexing like the lens of a mad eye. (5-8)

The blade-light is a symbol for the destructive power of the wind. Perhaps its movements are like those of a "mad eye" because its movements aren't controlled by reason. The wind obeys its own secret whim.

Once I looked up—
Through the brunt wind that dented the balls of my eyes
The tent of the hills drummed and strained its guyrope,

The fields quivering, the skyline a grimace,

At any second to bang and vanish with a flap; (10-14)

From the speaker's perspective, the wind could instigate the apocalypse if it wanted to, wiping everything away. The idea that it doesn't, although it could, creates plenty of tension.

We watch the fire blazing,
And feel the roots of the house move, but sit on,
Seeing the window tremble to come in,
Hearing the stones cry out under the horizons. (21-24)

Yeah, the wind's scaring these people, since it seems to be destabilizing their house. But it's also impressing them, given its strange ability to make stones scream (even if that's not literal, of course).

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