Literal and Metaphorical Meaning in Adrienne Rich's "Storm Warnings"

Length: 5 Pages 1304 Words

Adrienne Rich, a renowned confessional poet, uses unique structural style in order to reveal literal and metaphorical meanings in her poem, “Storm Warnings”. The cleverly designed structure allows her to progress in an organized manner to explain both an external and internal conflict held by the speaker. The structure of the poem parallels the external storm happening outside. Once the speaker is aware of the approaching storm, she takes cover to protect herself, and allows the storm to pass. The internal and metaphorical storm, which represents the speaker’s inner conflict, takes a similar path; the speaker recognizes the approaching conflict, finds a place of sanction and comfort, and finally learns to advance with the storm instead of trying to fight it. Therefore, the reader is able to recognize that the structure of the poem is a direct correlation to the movement of the internal storm. Both the external and internal storms entice the speaker to realize that she cannot t! ry to prevent or stop a storm, no matter how long or how many warnings she may receive. She must learn to shelter her physical self and her internal soul. The natural progression of the poem’s stanzas may not seem altogether important, but the fou Continue...


Not only does the structure of the poem relate to its external and literal meanings, but it also connects with the poem's deep internal and metaphorical purpose. come(s) on Regardless of prediction . The speaker can anticipate the storm approaching as she " . It is also here that the speaker accepts the fact that storms will come and that sheltering yourself and allowing the storm to pass " .