One of the major themes in D.H. Lawrence's "Bat" is irrational prejudice, the fact that our dislikes, even hatreds, are visceral rather than cerebral and can only be described, not explained. Lawrence explores various types of prejudice in his animal poems, notably in what is perhaps his best-known poem, "Snake," when he throws a log at a snake, not because he particularly wants to, but because people generally dislike snakes, and he feels a gesture of hostility is required.
In this poem, the speaker really does seem to loathe bats. He describes their physical appearance in words filled with repulsion:
Creatures that hang themselves up like an old rag, to sleep;
And disgustingly upside down.
Hanging upside down like rows of disgusting old rags
And grinning in their sleep.
The quick succession of the adverb "disgustingly" and the adjective "disgusting" emphasizes the strength of the speaker's feelings. The bats have spoiled his quiet evening amidst the beauties of Florence. However,...
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