The Wreck of the Deutschland: Stanza 13 - Summary

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      In an unfavorable weather prevailing at that time, the ship started to sail. The cold and chilly winter Sunday of December put the ship in precarious condition. The ship was moving towards snow storm. The merciless wind was blowing from east-north-east which forced the ship to head towards the westerly course. But there were efforts to avoid the threatening shoals off the Dutch coast but it was blown on the Thames shores. The poet brings before us the dreadful images of snow storm. The stormy wind was forceful enough to drive the snowflakes in spirals. The sea became an instrument of death and could kill husbands, children and their fathers.

Line by Line Analysis

Lines 1-3: Into the keeps: In the month of December when it was full of snow the ship started sailing sweeping the snow and left the port behind her. But the weather continued to cause havoc.

Lines 4-6: For the infinite.....the wind: ‘Infinite air’ refers to the weather which is harsh. It also points to the violent storms that can send shivers down the spine. The snow strikes violently against the waves and stores. The wind’s force was not only pitiless but also perpetual. The wind was blowing from the east-north-east direction and forced the ship towards west. There were tremendous efforts to avoid going to the precarious shoals off the Dutch coast but the ship was blown near the Thames shoals.

Lines 7-8: Wiry and white-fiery....deeps: In these lines Hopkins brings before us the violent spectacles of snow fall. The wind with its furious temper drive the snow-flakes. ‘Wiry’ means the snow going in spirals. ‘Deep’ means the depths of the sea. This sea has darkened all the hopes of survival of the passengers and has rendered some women as widows and children as orphans. The three terms ‘widow-making’, ‘unchilding’ and unfathering’ refer to the destructive force of the sea.

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