Nature images in The Wreck of the Deutschland

As we would expect with an account of a natural disaster, nature imagery predominates.


Water is the key image. Compare images of violent water, with those of still water:

  • under turbulent water there are references to ‘high flood' (7); ‘buck and the flood of the wave' (16); ‘sea-romp' (17); ‘sloggering brine' (19); ‘endragoned seas' (27); ‘Stanching quenching ocean' (32); ‘storm of his strides' (33)
  • as opposed to the still water images of ‘sway of the sea' (1); ‘water in a well' (4); and references to rivers (6,18).
Investigating nature images in The Wreck of the Deutschland
  • Find other water images.
    • Can you see any deliberate contrast between turbulence and stillness?


Images of sand include:

  • ‘strand' (1); ‘hourglass' (4); ‘smother of sand' (14); with particular use of the verb ‘combs' (4,14).


Examples include:

  • ‘lightning and lashed rod' (2); ‘fall-gold mercies' and ‘all-fire glances' (23); ‘lightning of fire hard-hurled' (34). Linked with fire is an anvil image in stanza 34.


There are a number of body images:

  • ‘bound bones in me' (1); ‘heart' (3, 18); ‘vein' (4).


More unexpected are images of music:

  • ‘virginal' (17); ‘madrigal/revel/glee' (18).
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