Use Of Figurative Language In Robert Frost's Once By The Pacific
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The unsettling concept of ‘the calm before the storm’ can instill anxiety, dread, or even fear in any person. The anxiety and fear build up with the unknown and uncertainty of what a storm will bring. In Robert Frost’s “Once by the Pacific,” demonstrates the intentions and abilities of an expected storm using imagery, figurative language, and an ominous theme.
The speaker in this poem (which I will refer to as male/Frost) focuses entirely on the imagery before him and his powerlessness against the incoming storm. Because the speaker’s image and well-being is not discussed within the poem, the intent of the message is assumed to be in warning the audience of the critical nature of the storm. The setting is explained and personified by the speaker,…show more content… (10-12)
When it was previously said that the shore was lucky, it’s implied that the safety of the shore was ensured. In the lines 10-12, it is noted that someone should be prepared for the rage to come. The poem is not about the speaker facing the storm; rather, the poem is about the ability and intentions of the storm. The major entity within the poem is the storm; however, it is the more intricate details that truly sculpt the powerful image of the storm. The nature of the storm, within this speaker’s account, is an accumulation of a few entities: great waves, planning to strike the shore; and clouds, hanging low as if to blow forward through the sky. This usage of metaphor and simile gives emphasis to the power and intention of the storm. The strategizing of the waves are the first hints that the intended action towards the shore/mankind, are…show more content… (2-4)
The other personification, presented immediately after the waves, is the representation of the clouds as being very humanlike (in being “like locks…in the gleam of eyes”). Religious institutions often will relate God with the sky; just as storms are related to the destruction of mankind. It isn’t unheard of that a storm would be followed by darkness, to one extent or another; however, darkness for an ‘age’ of time is extreme. This ominous idea, that a storm would cause an age of darkness brought about in a rage, is followed by an undeniable religious reference:
Someone had better be prepared for rage.
There would be more than ocean-water broken
Before God’s last Put out the Light was spoken. (12-14)
The Bible (as the instructor note reminded) gives credit to God as creator of everything, including the famous, “Let there be light.” This allusion will register as familiar for many with Bible related religions; God served as creator, when he created mankind -and destroyer, when he sent a flood to cleanse the earth of corrupted mankind. Just as many parents tell their misbehaving children, this poem infers that what placed you in this world can also take you