“A narrow fellow in the grass / Occasionally rides. / You may have met him – did you not? / His notice sudden is.”
| Lexical choice – unusual choice of verb.Modal verbDirect addressParadox
| Ride – being carried by the grass, something other-worldly or ghostly about this snake – being propelled magically. Only happens occasionally – a special/ rare/unique/mysterious occasion. Fellow – such a common address – paradoxical idea – both common and mysterious
| May – most people miss this connection – allude to the infrequency of the moment. Some possibility – far from certain – writer of the poem has a stronger connection to nature than the average person.
| Most people lack the belonging of experiencing the rare/unique/special/ mysterious/ striking moments with nature (which is the snake in the poem).
| Not everyone is as attuned to this fleeting moment with nature.
| “The grass divides as with a comb, / A spotted shaft is seen, / And then it closes at your feet / And opens further on.”
| Religious allusionAlliteration
| This encounter is both ordinary (you see a snake, and then don’t see it) and extraordinary (it represents beauty/ nature etc). It = grass.
| You see the spotted shaft and there is a brief moment that precedes full recognition of what it really is.
| Nature is both divine and mysterious. Therefore EDick finds it preferable – she finds everything she wants in nature.
| Nature goes on, it isn’t trying to connect or be friends, it goes on.
| “He likes a boggy acre, / A floor too cool for corn, / Yet when a boy and barefoot, / I more than once at noon”
| Verisimilitude EnjambmentImagery
| The snake likes a cool environment, so this is why the encounter is so rare.Boy and barefoot – touch of reality.
| Deliberate attempt to give something the quality of being realistic – boy running around barefoot in a snakey field.
| Boy belonging to nature – running around barefoot in the...
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