About above and upon (meaning)

DavidovNV

New Member
Russian
So, good day!
May you help me with the following issue?
There is a phrase from Wells H.T. The War of the Worlds containing this groups of words '…and the trees about me shivered with the first intimation of the storm that was upon me.'
I can’t understand what it does mean “the storm was upon me”. Does it mean that the storm was gathering around (above) him or it means that the person felt (thought, suggested) that the everything around him including, of course, the storm gathered about him to harm him as the suggestion, foreboding.
Thank you in advance!
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I think your reading is very sensitive. Literally it means the storm is starting but it also carries a sense of personal attack.
    Writing styles have changed in the last 120 years, so we all have to puzzle a little bit with this sort of thing. Upon me is less used these days.
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello DavidovNV, and Welcome to the Forum! :)

    I'd say it's an atmospheric description of imminent foreboding. He's just about to meet the Martian machines after all. :)
     

    DavidovNV

    New Member
    Russian
    Yes, of course, I read similar things regarding to styles. And, perhaps, my reading is really too sensitive. I want only to be sure that there is no evident difference in meaning "the storm was overhead" or "the storm was upon me" in English. Thank you!
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    >> I want only to be sure that there is no evident difference in meaning "the storm was overhead" or "the storm was upon me"

    There is a nuance here, and, in my view, it concerns imminent danger - I think you had it right in your first post. (By the way, 'sensitive' is good). :)
     

    DavidovNV

    New Member
    Russian
    >> I want only to be sure that there is no evident difference in meaning "the storm was overhead" or "the storm was upon me"

    There is a nuance here, and, in my view, it concerns imminent danger - I think you had it right in your first post. (By the way, 'sensitive' is good). :)
    Yes, my school teachers tought us to do it and I'm used to. Wells wrting the novel using very reach imagination describing conditions and developments so carefully as I'm really wandering. Sorry for grammar mistakes.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    This is sense 4a of upon in the OED:

    4c. Engaged in assailing, or about to attack.
    1568 R. Grafton Chron. II. 291 The French men were so mingled among their enemies, that some time there was fiue men vpon one Gentleman.
    c1670 A. Wood Life (1891) I. 114 Captain Walter had six rebells upon him, and..fought it out so..gallantly that [etc.].
    1701 W. Wotton Hist. Rome 269 The Senate heard that Severus was just upon them.
    1719 D. Defoe Life Robinson Crusoe 314 He saw five Men upon him.
    1721 D. Defoe Mem. Cavalier (1840) 211 We are all undone, the roundheads are upon us.
    1860 All Year Round 28 July 384 Certain manœuvres, which had just time to result.., when the squall was upon us.
    1885 Manch. Examiner 10 June 4/7 The crisis..is upon us at last.
     
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