Text of the Poem

Outside the house an ash-tree hung its terrible whips,
And at night when the wind arose, the lash of the tree  
Shrieked and slashed the wind, as a ship’s  
Weird rigging in a storm shrieks hideously.  
Within the house two voices arose in anger, a slender lash
Whistling delirious rage, and the dreadful sound  
Of a thick lash booming and bruising, until it drowned  
The other voice in a silence of blood, ’neath the noise of the ash.


  1. The use of words like "shrieked" and "slashed" imitate the sounds--onomatopoeia--of the wind and the ash tree's movements, adding to the sensory impact of the poem.

    — Allegra Keys, Owl Eyes Editor
  2. The internal conflict is juxtaposed with the external turmoil caused by the ash tree's whipping branches, highlighting the interconnectedness of the natural and human worlds and perhaps suggesting a metaphorical resonance between the two.

    — Allegra Keys, Owl Eyes Editor
  3. The poem shifts focus from the external to the internal, describing a domestic conflict characterized by intense anger and hostility.

    — Allegra Keys, Owl Eyes Editor
  4. The imagery of the ash tree's branches is depicted as menacing, suggesting a sense of foreboding or danger.

    — Allegra Keys, Owl Eyes Editor