Comparison of the Poems Wind on the Hill and The Wind Begun

Comparison of the Poems Wind on the Hill and The Wind Begun

In this article, we will examine the similarities and differences between two poems – “Wind on the Hill” by A.A. Milne and “The Wind Begun” by Emily Dickinson. Both written by renowned poets, these two essays explore the theme of wind, but they do so in unique and distinct ways.

“Wind on the Hill” is a poem that takes a lighthearted approach to the topic of wind. Milne, known for his popular children’s books, uses simple and playful language to convey the experience of wind. He describes how the wind can make different sounds and take on various forms, creating an atmosphere of wonder and excitement.

On the other hand, “The Wind Begun” by Dickinson takes a more introspective and mysterious tone. Known for her profound insights into human nature, Dickinson explores the deeper meaning and symbolism of the wind. She uses rich imagery and captivating metaphors to highlight the power and influence of the wind within the human experience.

While both poems revolve around the theme of wind, they do so from different perspectives. Milne’s poem focuses on the physical and sensory aspects of wind, while Dickinson’s poem delves into the emotional and spiritual impact of the wind. These contrasting approaches provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the topic and showcase the versatility of these two esteemed writers.

Comparing the Poems Wind on the Hill and The Wind Begun

In the realm of poetry, there are countless topics, styles, and techniques that writers use to convey their thoughts and emotions. Two such poets who have explored the theme of wind in their poems are Robert Frost and Allen Ginsberg. While both poets touch upon a similar subject, their works, “Wind on the Hill” and “The Wind Begun,” differ in their style, imagery, and overall mood.

In “Wind on the Hill,” Frost uses simple language and a straightforward structure to capture the essence of the wind. The poem depicts the wind as a force that is constantly moving and changing, but also consistent in its presence. Frost writes, “No matter where I wander, wherever I may go, / I see the wind’s black disappointment, / But I never see the wind.” This imagery suggests that the wind is always there, even though it cannot be seen.

Ginsberg’s “The Wind Begun” takes a different approach to exploring the theme of wind. Based on the style and language used, it is clear that Ginsberg was influenced by T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” Like Eliot, Ginsberg employs fragmented lines and multiple voices to create a sense of chaos and confusion. The poem is filled with references to different objects and places, making it difficult to decipher the true meaning. Ginsberg’s use of these techniques reflects the Beat Generation’s rejection of traditional writing styles and their desire to push boundaries.

In terms of imagery, Frost and Ginsberg both use vivid descriptions to evoke a sense of the wind’s power. Frost describes the wind as “a shatter of glass,” suggesting that it can be destructive and unpredictable. Meanwhile, Ginsberg’s poem is filled with vivid sensory details, such as the “blue cars” and “telephone poles” that are “crushed by the rain.” These descriptions create a vivid picture in the reader’s mind and heighten the emotional impact of the poem.

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In terms of mood, the two poems also have distinct differences. “Wind on the Hill” has a peaceful and soothing tone, with Frost suggesting that the wind brings a sense of calm and serenity. In contrast, “The Wind Begun” has a more chaotic and restless mood, reflecting the tumultuous nature of the Beat Generation and their desire for change.

Exploring the Similarities and Differences

Milne’s poem, “Wind on the Hill,” focuses on the gentle and calming aspects of nature. The wind is portrayed as a friend that whispers secrets and makes the trees dance. The poet’s language and style are light and soothing, creating a sense of peace and tranquility within the reader. In contrast, Dickinson’s poem, “The Wind Begun,” delves into the more chaotic and powerful nature of the wind. The wind is described as a force that breaks the frost and shakes the doors, painting a vivid picture of its strength and intensity. Dickinson’s use of strong imagery and descriptive language creates a sense of awe and wonder.

The two poems also differ in their form and structure. “Wind on the Hill” is written in six quatrains, with a consistent rhyme scheme of ABAB, while “The Wind Begun” is written in four quatrains, with an irregular rhyme scheme. This difference in structure reflects the contrasting tone and theme of each poem.

Both poets make use of vivid imagery to convey their messages. Milne’s poem uses imagery such as dancing trees and whispering secrets to create a playful and imaginative atmosphere. Dickinson, on the other hand, uses images of breaking frost and shaking doors to evoke a sense of power and intensity.

Despite these differences, both poems share a common theme of the wind and its effect on the world around us. They both appreciate the beauty and complexity of nature and highlight its significance in our lives. The poets use their unique styles and perspectives to explore this theme in their own distinctive ways.

Identifying the Key Themes

1. Love and Nature

In “Wind on the Hill,” A.A. Milne explores the idea of love for nature and the beauty of the wind’s presence. The poem uses vivid imagery, such as the wind playing with the flowers and the sun, to evoke a sense of awe and appreciation for the natural world.

On the other hand, in “The Wind Begun,” Sylvia Plath takes a darker approach. The wind becomes a symbol of destructive forces and turmoil in the poet’s life. Plath uses the wind as a metaphor for her inner turmoil, creating a sense of unease and chaos.

2. The Power of the Wind

Both poems highlight the powerful nature of the wind, but they present it in contrasting ways. Milne portrays the wind as a gentle force that brings joy and playfulness to the world. In contrast, Plath’s depiction of the wind is fierce and unpredictable, emphasizing its potential for destruction.

“Wind on the Hill” (Milne) “The Wind Begun” (Plath)
The wind is portrayed as a playful and gentle force. The wind represents chaos and inner turmoil.
Evoke a sense of awe and appreciation for nature. Create a sense of unease and destruction.

3. The Poet’s Perspective

Another important thematic contrast can be found in the perspectives of the two poets. Milne’s poem is written in the third person and focuses on the experience of the wind. The poet is more detached, providing a general observation. Conversely, Plath’s poem is written in the first person and reflects her personal experience with the wind. The poet is more directly involved and introspective, adding a layer of emotional depth to the poem.

Analyzing the Symbolism of Wind in Both Poems

Similarities in Symbolism

Both poems use the symbol of wind to represent a sense of freedom and movement. In “Wind on the Hill,” Milne describes the wind as “wild and free.” This suggests that the wind, like a bee, can roam freely and explore the world without any constraints. Similarly, in “The Wind Begun,” Dickinson writes, “The Wind begun to rock the Grass / With threatening Tunes and low– / He flung a Menace at the Earth,” which conveys a sense of movement and power associated with the wind.

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Furthermore, both poets use the wind as a symbol of change and transformation. Milne states, “Howdy-do, howdy-do? / Here we are together,” suggesting that the wind brings people together and introduces change into their lives. Similarly, in “The Wind Begun,” Dickinson describes the wind as a force that “Breaks the stupefied Sea” and “sets the Burling low.” This highlights the transformative power of the wind, which is capable of breaking down barriers and creating new experiences.

Differences in Symbolism

While both poems utilize wind symbolism, there are some differences in how the symbol is portrayed. In “Wind on the Hill,” the wind is depicted as a playful and joyful entity that brings happiness and excitement. Milne writes, “How sweet to be a Cloud / Floating in the Blue!” This suggests that the wind is seen as something positive and enjoyable.

On the other hand, in “The Wind Begun,” the wind takes on a more ominous and threatening tone. Dickinson describes the wind as tossing trees and bringing darkness, creating an atmosphere of unease. The wind is portrayed as a force that disrupts the peacefulness of nature, suggesting a sense of danger.

Overall Analysis

By using the wind as a symbol, both poets make a statement about the power and unpredictability of nature. The wind represents the forces beyond human control and highlights the transient nature of life. It serves as a reminder of the ever-changing world we live in.

Understanding the Impact of Themes on the Overall Meaning

Both poems explore the theme of nature, yet they’re written from different perspectives, based on the poets’ unique experiences and emotions. Milne’s poem “Wind on the Hill” examines the power of nature and the sense of freedom it gives, whereas Dickinson’s “The Wind Begun” focuses on the unstoppable force of nature and its impact on human lives.

Despite their differences, both poets use similar devices to convey their themes. They both employ metaphors and personification to evoke strong images of the wind. Milne compares the wind to a “blue box” and Dickinson describes it as a force that “crushes everything” in its path. These comparisons add depth and emotion to their poems.

The structure of the poems also differs. Milne’s poem follows a simple ABCB rhyme scheme and has a more lighthearted and playful tone. On the other hand, Dickinson’s poem has no set rhyme scheme and breaks away from traditional poetic structure, reflecting her unique style and adding to the mysterious and thought-provoking nature of the poem.

Despite the contrasting structure and tone, both poems share a similar mood. They capture the power and unpredictability of the wind, leaving the reader with a sense of awe and respect for nature.

When analyzing the impact of themes on the overall meaning, it is important to pay attention to the specific choices made by the poets. Milne’s poem focuses on the joy and freedom of the wind, while Dickinson’s poem highlights its destructive force. The thematic differences in the poems create a distinct contrast in their messages and interpretations.


What is the main theme of the poems Wind on the Hill and The Wind Begun?

The main theme of both poems is the presence and power of the wind.

What are the differences between Wind on the Hill and The Wind Begun?

Although both poems describe the wind, Wind on the Hill focuses on its gentleness and soothing nature, while The Wind Begun emphasizes its wild and turbulent side.

How does Wind on the Hill capture the essence of the wind?

Wind on the Hill captures the essence of the wind by describing it as a playful and friendly companion that creates a sense of joy and freedom.

What feelings does The Wind Begun evoke in the reader?

The Wind Begun evokes feelings of fear, chaos, and a sense of being overwhelmed by the wind’s power and unpredictability.

What poetic devices are used in both Wind on the Hill and The Wind Begun?

Both poems use imagery and personification to bring the wind to life and create a vivid and sensory experience for the reader.

What is the main theme of the poem “Wind on the Hill”?

The main theme of the poem “Wind on the Hill” is the power and freedom of nature.

Alex Koliada, PhD

By Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for studying aging, genetics, and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics. His scientific research has been published in the most reputable international magazines. Alex holds a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California, and a TEFL certification from The Boston Language Institute.