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Snake Class 10 English Poem Summary, Explanation, Literary devices

By Ruchika Gupta

 

Snake CBSE class 10 English Poem Summary, Explanation, Difficult words, Question Answers

CBSE class 10 English Poem 6 - Snake Poem Summary- and detailed explanation of the poem along with meanings of difficult words and literary devices used in the poem. Summary is followed by explanation of the Poem Snake. All the exercises and Question and Answers given at the back of the lesson.

 

 

About the author

David Herbert Richards Lawrence
1885 – 1930
Born in England, U.K.

 

D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930), English novelist, storywriter, critic, poet and painter, is one of the greatest figures in 20th-century English literature.  His collected works represent, among other things, an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation.

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Some of the issues Lawrence explores are emotional health, vitality, spontaneity and instinct. Lawrence's opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile which he called his "savage pilgrimage“(Autobiography of the poet).

 

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SNAKE Summary

 

The poem talks about the peaceful co – existence between man and the other creatures in the world. It also talks about man’s sins and the guilt which he has when he fails to perform his duty of respecting these other creatures which are God’s creations.

 

It being an extremely hot day, the poet comes to his water trough to quench his thirst. There he sees a golden-brown snake already drinking water. He is afraid and at the same time, welcomes his guest. He considers himself next in turn and waits patiently for his turn.

 

He is fascinated by this creation of God which seems harmless and whose only aim is to quench its thirst and retreat. The poet’s inner voice asks him to kill it as it being golden brown in colour, is considered to be poisonous.

 

The snake is unaware of the presence of the poet and in its natural way, quenches its thirst and withdraws into the hole in the wall.

 

When the snake is on its way into the hole, the poet is terrorized at the thought of the snake withdrawing into a world of darkness. He picks up a log of wood, hurls it at the snake.

 

He misses it but the snake senses danger and disappears into the hole in a haste.

 

The poet is still fascinated by the snake, but a sense of guilt grips him. He regrets his act of trying to hit the snake. He finds a similarity between this feeling of repentance to that of the ancient mariner who had killed the Albatross. He considers his act to be wrongful, to hit his ‘guest’. He wishes that the snake comes back so that he can apologize and make amends for insulting the uncrowned king in exile in the underworld due to be crowned again.

 

Snake Poem Summary CBSE Class 10 - Background and Summary

 

 

SNAKE Poem Explanation

 

A snake came to my water-trough

On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,

To drink there.

In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob-tree

I came down the steps with my pitcher

 

Water trough: a vessel which holds water

Carob tree: a red flowered tree originally in the Mediterranean area

Pitcher: tall, round container with an open top and a large handle

 

The poet says that once upon a time on a very hot day, a snake came to his water trough in the garden to quench its thirst. The poet was wearing his pyjamas and he had also gone to the trough to get some water for himself. The air was filled with the shade and the fragrance of the carob tree that stood in the garden. The poet was holding a pitcher to fill as he descended the stairs and walked towards the trough.

 

Literary devices –

1. Alliteration – ‘strange-scented shade’ – ‘s’ sound is repeated

2. Repetition – ‘On a hot, hot day’ – ‘hot’ is repeated to lay emphasis

3. Epithet – ‘strange-scented shade’ – the adjective – ‘strange – scented’ is used with ‘shade’ but it refers to the carob tree.

 

And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before me.

He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom

And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over the edge of

the stone trough

And rested his throat upon the stone bottom,

And where the water had dripped

from the tap, in a small clearness,

 

fissure: crack

gloom: darkness

yellow-brown slackness: The yellow – brown coloured body of the snake moved slowly

soft-bellied down: The snake’s belly is soft and slimy and is turned upside down. Clearness: puddle of clear water.

 

The poet thought that he must wait for his turn to fill the pitcher as the snake was there at the trough before him. The snake crawled out of a small crack in the wall. It was dark inside. Its yellow – brown coloured body crawled slowly, the soft belly of the snake moved over the edge of the trough made of stone. The snake rested its throat upon the base of the stony edge of the trough where water had dripped from the tap and got collected in a small puddle.

Literary devices -
Alliteration – ‘brown slackness soft-bellied’ – ‘b’ and ‘s’ sound is repeated
Repetition – ‘must’ is repeated to emphasize that it was mandatory for him to wait for his turn.

He sipped with his straight mouth,

Softly drank through his straight

gums, into his slack long body,

Silently.

Someone was before me at my water trough,

And I, like a second comer, waiting.

He lifted his head from his drinking, as

cattle do,

 

slack: loose, lazy

 

The snake sipped the water through its soft mouth. It was silent as it drank the water which flowed through its gums into its long body. The poet says that someone was there at his water trough before him and he had to wait for his turn. When it drank some water, it paused drinking and turned its head to look around just like cattle do.

 

Snake Poem Explanation and Literary devices of - CBSE Class 10

 

 

Literary devices –

1. Simile – ‘He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do’ – the snake has been compared to cattle.

‘I like a second comer’ – poet is compared to a person who is second in position.



And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do,

And flickered his two-forked tongue from his lips, and mused a moment,

And stooped and drank a little more,

Being earth-brown, earth-golden

from the burning bowels of the earth

On the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking.

 

Vaguely – not clear, passing glance

Flickered – moved

Mused – think about

Stooped – bent forward

Bowels – bottom of the Earth

Sicilian July - Reference to the intense hot month of July on the island of Sicily
Etna smoking – reference to Mount Etna located in Sicily is an active volcano and emits smoke
.

 

The snake looked at the poet also when it lifted its head just like cattle do. Then it moved its two – forked tongue through its lips. It seemed as if it was thinking something. Then the snake bent forward and drank some more water. The poet says that the colour of the snake’s body was an Earthy mix of golden and brown. Probably it was because it lived inside the bottom of the Earth which was burning hot due to two reasons – The first was that it was the summer season and secondly, the Mount Etna located there was an active volcano which emitted a lot of hot lava and fire. This indicated that the Earth was hot inside.

 

Literary devices –

1. Simile – ‘looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do’ – snake is compared to cattle

2. Alliteration – ‘flickered his two-forked tongue’ – ‘f’ and ‘t’ sound repeated

3. Visual imagery – ‘Etna smoking’ and ‘burning bowels of the Earth’ create visual imagery in the mind of the reader.

 

The voice of my education said to me

He must be killed,

For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous.

And voices in me said, If you were a man

You would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off.

 

Venomous – poisonous

 

The poet had learnt in his schooling that a snake was dangerous and should be killed. It was a belief in Sicily that the black – coloured snakes were harmless while the golden – coloured were poisonous. The poet’s conscious challenged him to prove his masculinity by killing the snake with a stick.

 

Literary devices –

1.Repetition – ‘black’ black’ to show emphasis

 

But must I confess how I liked him,

How glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink at my water-trough

And depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless,

Into the burning bowels of this earth?

Was it cowardice, that I dared not kill him? Was it perversity, that I longed to talk to

him? Was it humility, to feel so honoured?

 

Confess – admit his guilt

Glad – happy

Depart – leave

Pacified – to be at peace

burning bowels of this earth - Reference to the hot bottom of Mount Etna which is a volcano.
Cowardice – lack of bravery
perversity – the quality of being unreasonable, illogical

 

The poet admits that he had developed a liking for the snake. He was happy to have a guest at his water trough. The snake had come peacefully to quench its thirst. It did not intend to harm anyone and was retreading back into the bottom of the Earth through the crack in the wall. It had quenched its thirst and was satisfied now. Although it did not thank the poet, but it did not even harm him. The poet pondered upon his decision of not killing the snake. He thought that whether it was due to lack of bravery that he did not have the courage to kill it. Maybe he was attracted to the snake and wanted to befriend it. Actually, he was thankful to the snake for being a guest at his water trough and so, did not want to kill his guest.

 

Literary devices-

1. Alliteration – ‘peaceful, pacified’ – ‘p’ sound repeated

‘burning bowels’ – ‘b’ sound repeated

2. Simile – ‘he had come like a guest’ – the poet compares the snake to a guest.

 

 

I felt so honoured.

And yet those voices:

If you were not afraid, you would kill him!

And truly I was afraid, I was most afraid, But even so, honoured still more

That he should seek my hospitality

 

Hospitality – friendly welcome

 

The poet felt that he had been honoured by the snake who had appeared at his water trough as a guest. The inner voices inside the poet kept on nudging him to kill the snake. The poet says that he was afraid of the snake and did not have enough courage to kill it. Beyond that he felt obliged to have him as a guest. The feeling of being hospitable to his guest overpowered the inner voices which urged him to kill the snake.

Literary devices –

1. Repetition – ‘afraid’ repeated to lay emphasis.

 

From out the dark door of the secret earth.

He drank enough

And lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken,

And flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black,

Seeming to lick his lips,

 

dark door of the secret earth - Referring to the hole from where the snake has crawled out of the Earth.

 

The poet recapitulates the incident. He says that the snake crawled out from the crack in the wall. It came from the dark depths of the Earth. After drinking water, it lifted and turned his head like a person who in under the influence of alcohol. It moved its forked tongue out of its mouth. It was black in colour and it seemed that the snake was licking its lips.                                                                             

 

Literary devices –

 

1. Alliteration – ‘dark door’ – ‘d’ sound is repeated

‘his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken’ – ‘h’ and ‘d’ sound repeated

‘lick his lips’ – ‘l’ sound repeated

 

2. Simile – ‘lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken’ – snake is compared to a drunk person

‘his tongue like a forked night’ – The snake’s forked black coloured tongue is compared to the black night

 

3. Anaphora – ‘and’ repeated at the beginning of lines 3 and 4

 

And looked around like a god, unseeing, into the air,

And slowly turned his head,

And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice adream,

Proceeded to draw his slow length curving round

And climb again the broken bank of my wall-face.

 

Wall–face – face of the wall of the poet’s garden

 

The snake looked around it and retained same expressions just like God sees equally upon everything. It turned its head very slowly as if it was dreaming. Then the snake started moving its coiled body, climbing towards the crack in the wall of the poet’s garden.

 

Literary devices –

1. Anaphora – ‘and’ repeated at the beginning of lines

2. Simile – the snake has been compared to God

3. Repetition – ‘slowly’ has been repeated

4. Alliteration – ‘broken bank’ – ‘b’ sound repeated

 

And as he put his head into that dreadful hole,

And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders, and entered farther,

A sort of horror, a sort of protest against his withdrawing into that horrid black hole,

Deliberately going into the blackness, and slowly drawing himself after,

Overcame me now his back was turned.

 

Dreadful – terrible

Horrid – causing horror

 

As the snake started entering the crack and bent its shoulders to enter the narrow opening, the poet was gripped by a protest against the snake retreat. Now that the snake had his back towards the poet, the poet had a change of heart. He was not happy to see the snake leaving.

 

Literary devices –

1. Anaphora – ‘and as he’ repeated at the beginning of lines

2. Repetition - ‘a sort of’ repeated

3. Alliteration – ‘he put his head’ – ‘h’ sound is repeated

 

I looked round, I put down my pitcher,

I picked up a clumsy log

And threw it at the water-trough with a clatter.

I think it did not hit him,

But suddenly that part of him that was left behind convulsed in undignified haste.

 

Clatter: sound produced

Convulsed: a violent movement

Haste: hurry

 

The poet looked around looking for something to hit the snake with. He kept the pitcher down, lifted a log of wood and threw it at the snake. There was a sound as the log hit the wall. It did not hit the snake but the part of the snake’s body which was left outside moved violently as if in a hurry in reaction to it.

 

Literary devices –

1. Anaphora – ‘I’ repeated in the beginning of lines

2. Onomatopoeia – ‘clatter’ is the sound produced by the log hitting the wall.

 

Writhed like lightning, and was gone

Into the black hole, the earth-lipped fissure in the wall-front,

At which, in the intense still noon, I stared with fascination.

And immediately I regretted it.

I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act!

 

Writhed – twisted and turned

Paltry – worthless

 

The snake twisted and turned violently in reaction and disappeared into the crack which was dark like the black hole. The edges of the crack were the Earth’s lips as the crack led inside the Earth. The poet was fascinated by the crack and in the hot noon stood there, staring at it. The next moment he felt sorry for hitting the snake. He thought that he did a worthless and a rude act. He had been unfair to the snake.

 

Literary devices –

1. Simile – ‘Writhed like lightning’ – the snake’s movement has been compared to lightning

 

    

 

I despised myself and the voices of my accursed human education.

And I thought of the albatross

And I wished he would come back, my snake.

For he seemed to me again like a king,

Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld,

 

Despised – hated

Accursed – under a curse

Albatross- an allusion to Coleridge's "Rime of the ancient mariner“. He wishes for its return.
exile - Sent away from his territory

 

The poet hated himself and the education which had been cursed. It was due to his education that his inner voice had been forcing him to hit the snake. He was reminded of the albatross bird which had been shot dead by the ancient mariner (from the poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner). Just like the mariner regretted killing the bird similarly, the poet regretted hitting the snake and wished that it came back. He thought that the snake was like a king who was in exile. So, he lived in the dark underworld – the dark depth of the Earth. The poet wanted it to come back to it’s kingdom that was the poet’s garden.

 

Literary devices

1. Simile – ‘he seemed to me again like a king’ – the snake has been compared to a king.

2. Personification – ‘he seemed to me again like a king’ – the snake has been personified as it is addressed as ‘he’.

3. Allusion – reference to the albatross from the poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’.

 

Now due to be crowned again.

And so, I missed my chance with one of the lords

Of life.

And I have something to expiate

A pettiness.

 

Expiate - make amends

Pettiness – feeling small

 

The poet feels that now once again the snake was due to be crowned as the king. He felt that he missed an opportunity of being with the lord of life. He addresses the snake as the lord of life as it lived in the depth of the Earth which was the source of all living things. The poet wanted to make amends and correct his mistake as he was feeling small in front of the great snake.

 

Literary devices –

1. Alliteration – ‘lords Of life’ – ‘l’ sound repeated.

 

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Question and answers

Q. Given below is the summary of the poem Snake in short paragraphs. However

they are jumbled. Work in pairs and put the summary into a logical sequence.

a) After drinking water to satisfaction, the snake raised his head dreamily and flickered his forked tongue and licked his lips. The snake looked around like a God and then slowly proceeded to curve round and move away from the water trough.

b) The poet felt much like the ancient mariner who had killed the albatross for no reason. He wishes that the snake would come back. He thinks of the snake as a king in exile who has to be crowned again. He also regrets having missed his opportunity of knowing and understanding one of the lords of life.

c) As the snake put his head into the hole to retreat into the earth, the poet was filled with a protest against the idea of the snake withdrawing into his hole. The poet put down his pitcher, picked up a log and hurled it at the snake. The snake twisted violently and with great alacrity vanished into the hole in the wall.

d) A snake visited the poet's water trough on a hot afternoon to quench his thirst. The poet who had also gone to the trough to fill water in a pitcher waited for the snake since he had come at the trough prior to the poet.

e) The voices of education inside the poet tell him that it was the fear for the snake that made him refrain from killing him. However, the poet feels that though he was quite afraid of the snake, he did actually feel honoured that a snake had come to seek his hospitality from the deep recesses of the earth.

f) He is guilt-ridden and feels that he has to atone for the meanness of his action of throwing a log at the snake.

g) The snake rested his throat upon the stone bottom and sipped the water into his slack long body. After drinking water, he raised his head just like cattle do and flashed his forked tongue, thought for a moment and then bent down to drink some more water.

h) Education and social conventions make the poet think that the golden brown poisonous snake must be killed and that as a brave man he must undertake the task of killing the snake.

i) The poet instantly felt sorry for his unrefined and contemptible act and cursed the voices of education and civilization that had shaped his thought processes and urged him to kill the snake.

j) However, the poet instinctively likes the snake, treats him like a guest and feels honoured that it had come to drink at his water trough. The poet questions himself and wonders whether his not daring to kill the snake proved that he was a coward and whether his desire to talk to the snake reflected his perversity.

A. The logical sequence of the summary is as follows –

1. d) A snake visited the poet's water trough on a hot afternoon to quench his thirst. The poet who had also gone to the trough to fill water in a pitcher waited for the snake since he had come at the trough prior to the poet.

2. g) The snake rested his throat upon the stone bottom and sipped the water into his slack long body. After drinking water, he raised his head just like cattle do and flashed his forked tongue, thought for a moment and then bent down to drink some more water.

3. a) After drinking water to satisfaction, the snake raised his head dreamily and flickered his forked tongue and licked his lips. The snake looked around like a God and then slowly proceeded to curve round and move away from the water trough.

4. h) Education and social conventions make the poet think that the golden brown poisonous snake must be killed and that as a brave man he must undertake the task of killing the snake.

5. j) However, the poet instinctively likes the snake, treats him like a guest and feels honoured that it had come to drink at his water trough. The poet questions himself and wonders whether his not daring to kill the snake proved that he was a coward and whether his desire to talk to the snake reflected his perversity.

6. e) The voices of education inside the poet tell him that it was the fear for the snake that made him refrain from killing him. However, the poet feels that though he was quite afraid of the snake, he did actually feel honoured that a snake had come to seek his hospitality from the deep recesses of the earth.

7. c) As the snake put his head into the hole to retreat into the earth, the poet was filled with a protest against the idea of the snake withdrawing into his hole. The poet put down his pitcher, picked up a log and hurled it at the snake. The snake twisted violently and with great alacrity vanished into the hole in the wall.

8. i) The poet instantly felt sorry for his unrefined and contemptible act and cursed the voices of education and civilization that had shaped his thought processes and urged him to kill the snake.

9. b) The poet felt much like the ancient mariner who had killed the albatross for no reason. He wishes that the snake would come back. He thinks of the snake as a king in exile who has to be crowned again. He also regrets having missed his opportunity of knowing and understanding one of the lords of life.

10. f) He is guilt-ridden and feels that he has to atone for the meanness of his action of throwing a log at the snake.

 

Q. Based on your reading of the poem, answer the following questions by ticking

the correct options:

1. 'he lifted his head from his drinking as cattle do' - The poet wants to convey that the

snake

a) is domesticated

b) is innocent

c) is as harmless as cattle

d) drinks water just like cattle

A. d) drinks water just like cattle

 

2. 'Sicilian July', 'Etna smoking' and 'burning bowels of the earth' are images that convey

that

a) there are snakes in volcanic areas

b) the poet lived in a hot area

c) it was a really hot day when the snake came

d) Sicilian snakes are dangerous

A. c) it was a really hot day when the snake came

 

3. 'A sort of horror, a sort of protest overcame me' - The poet is filled with protest because

a) he doesn't want to let the snake remain alive

b) he fears the snake

c) he doesn't want the snake to recede into darkness

d) he wants to kill it so that it doesn't return

A. c) he doesn't want the snake to recede into darkness

 

4. In the line 'And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders, and entered farther'

the phrase snake easing' his shoulders means

a) loosening its shoulders

b) slipping in with majestic grace

c) moving slowly

d) moving fast

A. b) slipping in with majestic grace

 

5. 'He seemed to me like a king in exile…' The poet refers to the snake as such to

emphasize that the snake

a) is like a king enduring banishment

b) Is like a king due to be crowned

c) Is a majestic king who came for a while on earth

d) is a majestic creature forced to go into exile by man

A. d) is a majestic creature forced to go into exile by man

 

6. 'I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act' -The poet is referring to

a) the snake going into the dreadful hole

b) the accursed modern education

c) the act of throwing a log of wood at the snake

d) the act of killing the snake

A. c) the act of throwing a log of wood at the snake

 

Answer the following questions briefly:

Q1. Why does the poet decide to stand and wait till the snake has finished drinking? What does this tell you about the poet? (Notice that he uses 'someone' instead of 'something' for the snake.).

A. A. The poet being a gentleman, lets the snake quench his thirst as it reaches the trough before him. He treats the snake with respect as it being a creation of God. This shows that he is generous and considerate. He feels honoured to have the snake as a guest at his trough.

 

Q2. In stanza 2 and 3, the poet gives a vivid description of the snake by using suggestive expressions. What picture of the snake do you form on the basis of this description?

A. The poet gives a fascinating picture of the snake. It is a slim, long, yellow-brown snake with a soft slippery belly and straight gums. It is fearless and harmless and drinks in a carefree manner. It enjoys drinking and feels satisfied just like cattle do.

 

Q3. How does the poet describe the day and the atmosphere when he saw the snake?

A. The poet says that it was a very hot day in the month of July which is considered to be a hot month in Sicily. The atmosphere was filled with the shade and the strange fragrance of the carob tree that stood in the garden.

 

Q4. What does the poet want to convey by saying that the snake emerges from the 'burning bowels of the earth'?

A. The poet is emphasizing the fact that the interior of the Earth is very hot and dark. Most of the snakes live there in the deep, dark spaces. The snake is an uncrowned king of the inside of the Earth because it lives there.

 

Q5. Do you think the snake was conscious of the poet's presence? How do you know?

A. The snake was not conscious of the poet’s presence. We can conclude this from the poem where the poet says that the snake looked around and saw him also. Still, it did not react and continued its actions naturally. Thus, it was not conscious of the poet’s presence.

 

Q6. How do we know that the snake's thirst was satiated? Pick out the expressions that

convey this.

A. The snake’s thirst was satisfied as it licked its lips which indicated that it had drunk enough. The lines in the poem which indicate this are –

‘He drank enough

And lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken,

And flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black,

Seeming to lick his lips’

 

Q7. The poet has a dual attitude towards the snake. Why does he experience conflicting emotions on seeing the snake?

A. The poet is happy to see the snake at his water trough. He welcomes it as a guest and patiently waits for his turn to fill the pitcher. On the other hand, his inner voice keeps on urging him to kill the snake as it is poisonous. So, he experiences conflicting emotions on seeing the snake.

 

Q8. The poet is filled with horror and protest when the snake prepares to retreat and bury itself in the 'horrid black', 'dreadful' hole. In the light of this statement, bring out the irony of his act of throwing a log at the snake.

A. The irony in the poet’s act is that while the snake was there at the trough drinking water, it was dangerous for the poet as it could bite him. At that time, the poet did not attack it, rather waited patiently for his turn. Later, when the snake was going back into the crack in the wall, it no longer posed a threat to the poet, at that time he hit it with a log. This act of the poet is ironical.

 

Q9. The poet seems to be full of admiration and respect for the snake. He almost regards him like a majestic God. Pick out at least four expressions from the poem that reflect these emotions.

A. The poet’s expressions ‘And looked around like a God’, ‘seemed to me again like a king’, ‘a king in exile’ and ‘due to be crowned again’ reflect his admiration for the snake.

 

Q10. What is the difference between the snake's movement at the beginning of the poem and later when the poet strikes it with a log of wood? You may use relevant vocabulary from the poem to highlight the difference.

A. In the beginning, the snake trailed its body with slackness but later, after being hit with a log of wood, it convulsed with undignified haste. This shows the difference in its movement.

 

Q11. The poet experiences feelings of self-derision, guilt and regret after hitting the snake. Pick out expressions that suggest this. Why does he feel like this?

A. The expressions which suggest the poet’s feelings of self-derision, guilt and regret are – ‘I regretted it’, ‘I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act’, ‘I despised myself and the voices of my accursed human education’, ‘I wished he would come back’, ‘I have something to expiate, a pettiness’.

He felt like this because he was guilty of hitting at the snake with the log of wood.

 

Q12. You have already read Coleridge's poem The Ancient Mariner in which an albatross is killed by the mariner. Why does the poet make an allusion to the albatross?

A. The poet finds a similarity between his attempt to kill the snake and the mariner’s attempt to kill the Albatross. They both were harmless creatures and were aimed at by the men mindlessly. The acts of the mariner and the poet were wanton and so, he makes an allusion to the bird.

 

Q13. 'I have something to expiate'-Explain.

A. The poet considers himself guilty of hitting the snake with a log of wood in an attempt to kill it. He feels that he is like the ancient mariner who had mindlessly killed the innocent albatross bird. Just like the ancient mariner, he also wants to expiate for the sin he has committed.

 

Q. The poet has also used both repetition and similes in the poem. For example-- 'must wait, must stand and wait' (repetition) and 'looked at me vaguely as cattle do' (simile). Pick out examples of both and make a list of them in your notebooks. Give reasons why the poet uses these literary devices.

A.

Literary device

Lines from the poem

Reason

Repetition

1. On a hot, hot day

2. And must wait, must stand and wait

3. I was afraid, I was most afraid

4. And slowly turned his head,

And slowly, very slowly

5. sort of horror, a sort of protest

To lay emphasis

To lay emphasis

To lay emphasis

To lay emphasis

To lay emphasis

Simile

1. And I, like a second comer

2. He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do,

looked at me vaguely, as drinking

cattle do,

3. lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken

4. his tongue like a forked night

5. looked around like a god

6. Writhedlike lightning

7. he seemed to me again like a king,

Like a king in exile

Poet compared to a person waiting at second position in a que.

Snake compared to cattle



Snake compared to a drunk person

Snake’s tongue compared to night

Snake compared to God

Snake compared to lightening

Snake compared to a king