Study Guide

Wind Man and the Natural World

By Ted Hughes

Man and the Natural World

This house has been far out at sea all night,
The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills,
Winds stampeding the fields under the window
Floundering black astride and blinding wet

Till day rose; (1-5)

The wind, while technically not alive, seems like a herd of living things—all trampling and stampeding through the landscape. There's some kind of vital presence even in inanimate nature. These forces swirl around the little lives of anonymous humans.

At noon I scaled along the house-side as far as
The coal-house door. 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, (9-12)

The power of the wind can dent your eyeballs—organs of perception—mirroring the way this very power transcends our ability to fully perceive it or understand it.

The fields quivering, the skyline a grimace,
At any second to bang and vanish with a flap; (13-14)

Nature seems to have the power to completely annihilate itself and the world if it wanted to. We humans are at the mercy of its whims (eep).

The house

Rang like some fine green goblet in the note
That any second would shatter it. (16-18)

The house isn't actually going to shatter like a goblet, but this image enhances how fragile the house and the people in it really seem.

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)

The wind intimidates humans, while bringing inanimate stones to (a kind of) life.

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