What's it really about? Explain and analyze the poem "Snake" by D. H. Lawrence.

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D. H. Lawrence’s poem “Snake” provides a look into an unforgettable event in the poet’s life---a snake encounter in Sicily. Using first person point of view and employing the flashback technique, the poet brings the reader into the scene of his backyard when he thought he was just going to get some water. 


One of the themes of the poems involves the fear versus fascination aspect of the speaker’s part in the poem.  He fears the venomous snake; but, he cannot seem to take his eyes from the beauty of the snake, his nobility, and elusiveness. 

Poetic devices---


Using the “s” sound which is also in the sound that the snake makes, the poet describes the setting of the encounter

“In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob-tree
And rested his throat upon the stone bottom…”

“He sipped with his straight mouth,
Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body,


The poet compares the snake lifting his head and looking around to a cow when it is drinking


The poet alludes to the poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and the albatross which was tied around the neck of a sailor who had killed the sea bird.

Diction and vocabulary

Lawrence uses beautifully coined phrases which  provide the reader with a clear picture along with an emotional hue that rings true---“ From out the dark door of the secret earth…” One never thinks of the earth holding secrets, but it does…


The narrator comes out to his water trough under a tree to get some water.  What he sees both fascinates and makes him afraid----a...

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