Hunting Snake and the Cockroach Note

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“Hunting Snake” Judith Wright ** Australian poet fascinated by Aboriginal life and a reverence for nature. Poetic Devices: Alliteration/hypnotic quality that lulls reader and reflects simple poetry of youth Assonance/like alliteration, many soft repetitive sounds (‘w’ and ‘s’ particularly) that also mirror snake’s movements Imagery/very strong, visceral poem. Sensory-oriented. Creates a strong, confident, beautiful, awe-inspiring image of snake (focus of poem) Rhyme scheme/very simple until ‘twist’ at end that highlights a shift in focus – from close observation of snake to poet’s mix of complicated emotions – fear and awe Blank narrator/ lets us a) focus on the event, not narrator, b) relate to experience (put ourselves there), c) makes poem more visceral Extended metaphor/ the relationship between the poet and the snake is a reflection of how Man and Nature’s relationship should be characterized (ie, poet’s main message) Structure: - 4 stanzas, 4 lines each (regular, simple, tight) - Simple rhyme (abab/cdcd/efef/ghhg) with ‘twist’ at end – draws focus, has a tenderness/peacefulness of children’s poems. It can also be seen as a reflection of the duality of the poem’s content (Man vs Nature) - There’s a musical effect (allit/asson/rhyme) which is romantic, hypnotic Stanza 1. Harmonious, romantic world. Idealization of nature 2. contrasts suddenly with darkness/terror of snake. The snake’s appearance is abrupt and shocking at end of harmonious stanza 1. This forces the reader to experience the shock the poet must’ve felt when real snake appeared – visceral 3. fear reaches its peak. Human’s fear aligns us more with the prey than snake – shows where we are on food chain, so to speak, and who is actually superior (Nature, when met on nature’s terms). This is humbling for Modern man who usually likes to align himself with ‘power’ animals. 4. twist here reflects the contrasting feelings of fear and awe NB. This poem is not powerful because of its complexity or its...
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