Explain How Theodore Roethke Presents the Power of the Storm in His Poem, the Storm

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The poet begins the poem by casting an ominous image in the mind of the reader. The poet describes the relative calm before the storm 'Against the stone breakwater, Only an ominous lapping.' The adjective ominous gives the reader a real sense of what the lapping of the waves is like; expectant and dangerous. 'Lapping' itself is almost ironic as one would associate the word lapping with calm and peaceful waves, but the poet flips this and turns lapping into an ominous sign that a storm is coming. Throughout the poem, Roethke uses alliteration and onomatopoeias to provide the reader with a more realistic image of what the storm is like; 'While the wind whines overhead.' The poet goes on by using pathetic fallacy to the describe the wind; 'Whistling between the arbors.' The techniques of alliteration and onomatopoeia are also repeated in this stanza, possibly indicating that the build up to the storm is painfully dragged out and repetitive; 'The thin whine of wires, a rattling and flapping of leaves.' The image presented at the end of the stanza is stark and uses the technique of sibilance, possibly imitating the sound of the wind in the storm; And the small street-lamp swinging and slamming against the lamp pole.' the first stanza of the poem sets the scene for the chaos to follow. In the second stanza, the tension is built further by the poet by immediately asking a question; 'Where have the people gone?' This question adds to the danger and suspense already built by the first stanza and adds a sense of fear and solitude. The line following the question 'There is one light on the mountain.' almost answers the questions before it but in a way that only increases the fear and solitude by the fact that there is only one light as opposed to many welcoming lights. Structurally, the length of this stanza makes it stand out from the rest as it is only two lines long. This
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