What are the most common images in the poem "A Narrow Fellow in the Grass"?  

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Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a sexual poem if you look at some of the symbols.  There is the "spotted shaft" and the snake that "divides the grass as a comb"... references to the sexual organs and the act of intercourse. 

However, the imagery is not positive.  The use of the "snake" itself has overtones of biblical evil and the snake is traditionally associated with secretive and vile acts.  Other descriptive words include "slither" and "scally" and I would argue out that the shaft (the penis) describe as "spotty" means that it is diseased in some way. 


sagetrieb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Checking out some of the scholarship eNotes provides on this poems validates ane exands upon Jamie’s insigtful response.  According to one critic, the poem is on the one hand realisitic depicting that snake and as such a detailed and imaginative description of an encounter with nature, but the poem is also about “transformation” in viewing nature, which creates “a more woman-centered religion that incorporates a reverence for the things of the earth.”  This view diminishes some of the violence and anxiety apparent in the poem, but affirms the system of symbolism that Jamie finds.

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A Narrow Fellow in the Grass

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