The British poet Ted Hughes published "Wind" in his 1957 collection The Hawk in the Rain. The poem's speaker is both terrified of and mesmerized by a wild, destructive wind, which ravages the landscape and threatens to rip the speaker's house from its foundation. "Wind" evokes not only the sheer force of nature, which eclipses anything humans are capable of, but also the storminess of human relationships. Like many of Hughes's poems, "Wind" is bleak in tone and relies on hard, punchy sounds as well as vivid, visceral imagery.
This house has ...
... and blinding wet
Till day rose; ...
... a mad eye.
At noon I ...
... strained its guyrope,
The fields quivering, ...
... with a flap:
The wind flung ...
... it. Now deep
In chairs, in ...
... the fire blazing,
And feel the ...
... under the horizons.
Select any word below to get its definition in the context of the poem. The words are listed in the order in which they appear in the poem.
Ted Hughes's Life and Work — Check out a biography of the poet and additional poems via the Poetry Foundation.
Hughes and Plath — Listen to a 1961 interview with Ted Hughes and his wife, poet Sylvia Plath, for the BBC.
The Hawk in the Rain — An essay by Heather Clark about Hughes's first poetry collection, The Hawk in the Rain, via The Ted Hughes Society.
British Library Archives — Additional resources on Hughes's work from the British Library.
A Reading of the Poem — Hear the poem read aloud by British actor Christopher Naylor.
1This house has been far out at sea all night,
2The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills,
3Winds stampeding the fields under the window
4Floundering black astride and blinding wet
5Till day rose; then under an orange sky
6The hills had new places, and wind wielded
7Blade-light, luminous black and emerald,
8Flexing like the lens of a mad eye.
9At noon I scaled along the house-side as far as
10The coal-house door. Once I looked up —
11Through the brunt wind that dented the balls of my eyes
12The tent of the hills drummed and strained its guyrope,
13The fields quivering, the skyline a grimace,
14At any second to bang and vanish with a flap:
15The wind flung a magpie away and a black-
16Back gull bent like an iron bar slowly. The house
17Rang like some fine green goblet in the note
18That any second would shatter it. Now deep
19In chairs, in front of the great fire, we grip
20Our hearts and cannot entertain book, thought,
21Or each other. We watch the fire blazing,
22And feel the roots of the house move, but sit on,
23Seeing the window tremble to come in,
24Hearing the stones cry out under the horizons.