Adrienne Rich’s use of detailed structure in his poem Storm Warnings reveals both literal and metaphorical meanings. Solely based on the title, the speaker observes the unfolding of an immense storm right in front of his eyes. The storm’s gradual approach discloses a deeper significance for the speaker in Rich’s ballad. The speaker’s actions toward the coming storm illustrate the speaker’s character and feelings.
The poem literally demonstrates the speaker’s observation of a coming storm in the first and second stanza. Although the third and fourth stanza speaks of the storms arrival, it can also be interpreted in numerous ways based on Rich’s organization of the poem which reveal a deeper meaning. To illustrate metaphorically, the storm that is occurring in this poem symbolizes the speaker’s inner conflicts he is struggling with. In the first stanza, “The glass has been falling all afternoon,” metaphorically symbolizes the speaker’s personal barometer and how he is feeling gloomy. In addition, the speaker insinuates the idea that all he can do now is “…close the shutters” in the third stanza which proves that the speaker is undergoing individual problems that he cannot endure any longer. Moreover, “These are things that we have learned to do who live in trouble regions,” exemplify how the speaker has decided that only by accepting the truth will one be able to tolerate everything life throws.
In conclusion, the title Storm Warnings by Rich relates to both his use of literal and metaphorical devices throughout the entire poem. Whether the reader chooses to believe the metaphorical connotation of the poem is entirely justified as well as the literal meaning of the poem. The storm that occurs outside gradually draws near as well ass the gradual growth of the speaker’s inner turmoil. All in all, Rich brilliantly constructs a beautiful poem that is meaningful and straightforward to understand.