Study Guide

Wind Stanza 5

By Ted Hughes

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Stanza 5

Lines 17-18

Rang like some fine green goblet in the note
That any second would shatter it.

  • This stanza picks up after an enjambment from the stanza just above. So, we're still talking about the house here. 
  • Is it actually ringing the same way a glass would when hit with a soprano singer's super-high note? Probably not with the same tone, but maybe this refers to the strange whoo-ing noises that happen when the wind blows around a house that has some of its windows open?
  • Still, why is the house like a fine green goblet, specifically? Well, it might be painted green for one thing. 
  • The wind isn't actually going to shatter the house, of course, but it feels like it could. This seems to highlight the fragility of humans and animals in the hands of Nature, again—just like the house-out-at-sea metaphor and the bird imagery

Lines 18-20

[…] Now deep
In chairs, in front of the great fire, we grip
Our hearts and cannot entertain book, thought,

  • The poem switches from describing the speaker's reactions to describing the wind's effects on all the people in the house (presumably his family).
  • In short, the force of the wind is worrying. They grip their hearts and aren't able to concentrate on anything. The sense—probably irrational—of some impending destruction is just too strong. The wind keeps tearing their attention away from everything else.

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