11 Sept 2017

BA English poem Snake by DH Lawrence

D.H Lawrence

Important questions on the Poem

1.Lawrence love for nature.                                                             2.The changing reactions of the poet on seeing snake at his water trough.                                           
The poem is about the ever changing feelings and emotions of the poet on seeing a snake at his water trough. Lawrence is a great lover and admirer of the objects of nature. So this natural instinct of poet compelled him to compose a beautiful poem on a very common and dangerous object of nature- Snake. The poet is much impressed by the beauty of snake. He welcomes it as an honorable guest at his home.

Throughout the poem his reactions and feelings are vacillating. Firstly, he is honored and pleased on seeing a snake at his water trough. He let the snake drink water first and as a second comer he is waiting. But soon his voice of accursed human education informs him that this snake is very venomous (poisonous) it must be killed. The poet is confused as he still likes the snake. 

His voice of education dominates him and he picks up a clumsy log and throws it onto the snake. The snake resumes his back -hole journey and disappeared. Now the poet s’ feeling and reaction again changes and he starts repenting. He compares the snake with a king- a king in exile that has gone under world to resume his kingship. 

He compares his snake with a god and also with Albatross. It is a bird mentioned in Coleridge s’ most famous poem. “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” In which the sailor kills the Albatross and he receives a series of misfortunes as a result of his bad act. In the same way, the snake for the writer is a symbol of good luck but he misses this chance. The poet becomes remorseful and wants to compensate his bad act.

Albatross-symbolic importance

Lawrence might have read Coleridge s' poem 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' before composing
this masterpiece of literature:Snake. In Samuel Taylor Coleridge(S.T Coleridge) s' this poem,there is 
also a mention of Albatross. He compares his snake with Albatross. Albatross is a symbol of luckness
,it brings pleasures, joys and luck with itself.

A King in exile

It is Lawrence s' quality that he gives much honou to the humble objects of nature. To him, snake is 
like a god, like a king in exile that visited  the home of a worldly man just to quench his thirst. After 
quenching its thirst , he went back to the underworld where he was to be crowned again.

Nature A Major Interest of Lawrence

When we go through Lawrence s' works,we come to know that nature is his chief interest.It is the quality of Lawrence that he writes about the humble objects of nature and gives them a lot of respect.
If we go through his literary essay, 'The Whistling of Birds' we observe that he only talks about the objects of nature.The poem 'Snake' is a vivid description of the objects of nature.Snake usually is a major element of fear among people but Lawrence treats him in a different way.Snake,for Lawrence, becomes a representative of nature.Snake beauty,colour combination and flexibility of its tender and slender body has been a source of inspiration for many poets but the way Lawrence treats it is very sublime and unique.

Read More BA English poems


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