THE rain and wind, the rain and wind, raved endlessly.
Thomas uses repetition here to emphasise the negative elements of his inner turmoil. Usually the saying being “wind and rain” Thomas has reversed it giving the phrase a more unsettling feel. His personification of the storm portrays Thomas’ more relatable relationship with nature, and his recognition of it as almost being equal. The full stop at the end of this line rather foreshadows the rest of the poem, with a sense of finality and certainty, contrast to the enjambment we see in many of Thomas’ other poems.
On me the Summer storm, and fever and melancholy
In this line Thomas proposes the ‘summer storm’ perhaps implying the impending threat of the war, is upon him personally, as he makes the decision to enlist. The capitalisation of ‘Summer’ could suggest it’s vitality, as he enlisted in July 1915.
Wrought magic, so that if I feared the solitude
‘wrought magic’ is a specifically designed type of magic, Thomas could be suggesting the unique ambiguity he’s feeling towards everything but his decision is due to a spell the situation of the conflict has put him under. His fascination is the only thing he feels.
Far more I feared all company: too sharp, too rude,
Thomas separates the phrases solitude and company, adapting their opposite natures emphasising their difference. His fear for company and being alone implies his previous contradictions towards the war are now focussed into an enigmatic attitude towards his life way from it. He uses monosyllables emphasising the short disposition he’s adapted, and his neglectful attitude.
Had been the wisest or the dearest human voice.
Thomas uses an idea subject to many other poems that not any kind of romantic love doesn’t provoke any feeling or change from him. The full stop in this line brings the finality that perhaps it never will.
What I desired I knew not, but whate’er my choice
Vain it must be, I knew. Yet naught did my despair
Thomas, in these lines proclaims he has finally made his decision, The caesurae in the middle of the line brings a sudden pause to the whole poem, stopping the flow, Implying the decision he’s made to go to war interrupted his flow in life and has changed the cause of events, however the rhyme patter remains the same. The self-realization of his vanity and his unknown desires being proclaimed in a poem imply Thomas feels this is the beginning of the end.
But sweeten the strange sweetness, while through the wild air
Here Thomas uses sibilance, emphasising the words ‘sweetness’ and ‘strange’ contrasting their perhaps