The Cockroach By Kevin Halligan

Explain the poem "The Cockroach" by Kevin Halligan.

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Kevin Halligan’s  poem “ The Cockroach” should be read on two levels: literal and figurative.  The poem has fifteen lines with a set rhyme scheme of every other line rhyming—ABABCDCD [to show the pattern]. The point of view is first person with the poet as the speaker.

The literal meaning is a realistic scene of the speaker watching a huge cockroach crossing the floor of the house.  The speaker is intrigued and examines the movement of the insect. 

The roach avoids a dust bunny by sidestepping around it. As it crossed the floor, it follows a path probably previous covered.  The roach begins to move quicker in circles and acts oddly.  It flips over as if to scratch its wings.  Something was affecting the bug because it seems to be having an attack which causes it be uncertain and erratic in its movements.

Finally, it climbed up on a shelf and ceased to move.  No longer did it appear to know what to do.  Was it being punished for something that it had done?...

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