Study Guide

Wind Stanza 4

By Ted Hughes

Stanza 4

Lines 13-14

The fields quivering, the skyline a grimace,
At any second to bang and vanish with a flap;

  • The wind is making the fields quiver and forcing the skyline to grimace (pull a strained face)—almost like it's bending the horizon of the world itself.
  • The whole world seems like it might suddenly be blown away or just disappear, almost like a scroll suddenly rolling up, or a tent getting knocked over and blown away.

Lines 15-16

The wind flung a magpie away and a black-
Back gull bent like an iron bar slowly. The house

  • These lines further highlight the violence of the wind. It's smacking birds around and bending them—ouch. In another simile, we learn that a black-back gull looks like an iron bar as it bends. It's like something strong getting forced into a shape by something stronger. The wind casually tosses both birds around. 
  • Hughes might be suggesting that the forces of nature are indifferent to life—either animal or human. These forces don't care what kind of damage they're causing. They're impersonal.

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