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The poem Cloudburst, by Kevin Ireland explores how people respond to natural disasters. People truck on, and they use a variety of coping mechanisms to do so, from making light of the situation to comparing to other traumas to try to gain perspective.
In order to explore how people have responded to a flood that resulted from a biblical deluge, Ireland has used personification, listing, and metaphor to bring a tone of optimism to the event.
Ireland reveals his true intention when he personifies the act of fate inherent in natural disasters like floods, “Misfortune uses us lightly / We now have a millennium to lie back”. He shows his optimism using the mild irony of his deliberate mis-representation of probability, suggesting that since they’ve had a “once in a thousand year flood”, they can now relax for a millennium free from the anxiety that this will happen again.
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