Windy Boy in a Windswept Tree Windy Boy in a
by Geoffrey Summerfield Windswept Tree
Everyone knows how exciting and dramatic a
The branch swayed, swerved,
powerful storm can be. Geoffrey Summerfield’s
poem describes the effect of a strong wind on a Swept and whipped, up,
boy caught in. a tree. His use of language helps Down, right to left,
us to see the scene in our minds. Then leapt to right again,
As if to hurl him down
To smash to smithereens
On the knife-edge grass
In the close-knit quilts of moss.
Out on a crazy limb
He screwed his eyes tight shut,
To keep out the dizzy ground.
Sweat greased his palms;
Fear pricked his forehead.
The twisted branches lunged and
His body curved, twisted, he arched
His legs and gripped the bark
Between his ankles.
The crust of bark
Bringing the wind to life Sharp as glasspaper
Geoffrey Summerfield uses personification to And rough with wrinkles
make the wind seem as if it is alive. Grazed his skin
Some words show the movement of the tree - And raised the raw red flesh
such as 'swayed' and 'swerved'. Others make
And crazed his mind
the tree sound like a human being - 'leapt to
right again, / As if to hurl him down' (lines 4-5). With fears of breaking.
The tree often sounds as if it is deliberately Then the mad-cap, capering wind
attacking the boy. Dropped.
a. Look through the poem and find some The branch steadied,
examples of where the wind seems to
behave as if it is alive.
b. Think about why the writer uses this Rested.
technique. Which of the following reasons He slowly clambered, slowly back,
is most likely? Slowly so safely,
• Personifying the wind makes his
Like a wet blanket
poem more interesting.
• It makes the boy seem like a To the rick-like, reassuring ground.
victim. Finally, without a sound
• It makes the wind seem aggressive. He walked carefully
• It helps us to imagine the power of Home.
• It adds humour to the poem.