All three of these poems Sonnet by John Clare, Patrolling Barnegat by Walt Whitman, and Storm on the Island by Seamus Heaney are all about nature and what part it plays in our life. Sonnet is all about Clare’s love for summer, Patrolling Barnegat is about how people cannot control the power of the storm, Storm on the Island is again about a storm, and how people cope, and counter the storms affects. All three of these poems are similar, but in different ways; the subject of weather is obviously the main theme of each poem, all of the poems use the same poetic techniques; alliteration, repetition, and onomatopoeia.
Although many poetic techniques are used, Patrolling Barnegat and Sonnet have hardly any punctuation this gives the poems more life and energy. Patrolling Barnegat and Storm on the Island also have the similarity of both being about how powerful storms are and how the storms are more powerful than man. The differences being Storm on the Island and Sonnet are both easily understood and are to the point, but Patrolling Barnegat has hidden meanings and an ambiguous ending, and is almost thought of as a person.
Another difference is that Sonnet has very little punctuation which keeps the poem flowing and happy, whereas Heaney’s Storm on the Island has very little punctuation but this is to keep the power and pummelling of the storm seem continuous. The mood of the poems is very important as Storm on the Island has a mood of much power, and as if it is uncontrollable, Heaney uses war words to describe the storm, such as salve, bombarded and strafes. This gives the impression that they are always under attack.
He also talks about how nothing can grow due to the unpredictable attack of the storm and how the island is isolated. The only way to fight the storm is to be prepared for the attack, as in the poem the islanders build there houses squat, sink the walls into rock, and roof them with good slate. Patrolling Barnegat has a very active mood as at the end of every line there is a verb for example, muttering, lashing, and watching. Due to the storm being so active and powerful it removes man’s identity making them merely ‘a group of dim, weird forms’.
On the other hand Clare’s Sonnet has a very happy, joyful mood, this is because john Clare wants to portray summer as a bright, busy time of year; he does this by using many verbs and by using many colourful adjectives such as ‘stain with gold’ Many poetic methods are used in all of these poems, some more than others. In Storm on the Island similes – ‘spits like a tame cat’, alliteration ‘space is a salvo’, conversation ‘you know what I mean’, and personal pronouns are all used. This is to describe the storm and the effect it has on the people of the island.
Patrolling Barnegat uses personification – ‘demonic laughter’, onomatopoeia – ‘slush’, repetition – ‘wild, wild’, and a lot of alliteration – ‘combs careering’ all of these show action and power. This sonnet is untraditional as there are no rhyming couplets, instead verbs at the end of each line to show activity. John Clare’s Sonnet is a traditional sonnet; it has 14 lines 10 syllables per line, and rhyming couplets. He also uses a lot of alliteration, onomatopoeia, and many adjectives for example – ‘white wool sack clouds.
The repetition used in Clare’s poem, of ‘I love’, outlines his feelings for summer, and it shows how much things there are that he loves about summer. The final comparison is how the poets use language to convey their message, Whitman’s poem has a verb at the end of each line, this makes the storm sound continual and very busy and active. The poem has been written in present tense with a quick and active tone. Whitman has included lots of noise and sound words, such as roar, muttering, laughing, and shouting. Clare in his poem uses lots of words of movement to describe the summer.
This poem has no punctuation. This allows the poem to flow quickly. Flow is also a word of movement. Because the poem flows it means that the overall tone of the poem is much more joyful and calm. The repetition of ‘I love’ also shows how much Clare loves the summer. Heaney’s poem uses powerful words, and a conversational tone which makes the reader feel more involved, the poem has different sentence lengths, but does have a lot of punctuation. The poem is also written in the present tense giving the feeling that it is happening now, giving a greater sense of anxiety to the reader.