Sunday, 8 November 2015

This article takes a very careful study of the poet, the themes and the style used in the poem: Considering The Snail by Thom Gunn

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The poem is about a snail that trudged through the wet-night to a destination unknown to the poet. Its relentless efforts caught the attention of the poet making the poet wondered what emotion or intention drove the snail and when the poet checked the grasses the snail had passed through, he saw the trail left by the snail.

Considering The Snail is a 3stanza poem with 6lines each stanza. It has a funny light-weight rhyme pattern of ABCABC DEFDEF GHIGHI. It is a nature poem with an eye-opening and motivational purpose. The poem possesses alliteration "with water" "darken the earth's dark" "what power is at work". Also existed the use of rhetorical question "what is a snail's fury?" metaphor is "wood of desire" imagery is "pale antlers barely stirring" symbolism is "blade" run-on-lines also features in the poem, etc.

The central message or subject matter or ruling theme of the poem is achievement. Other themes in the poem are challenges faced through ambitions, solid mission, records and impacts.

The poet spoke of how the snail started rough with slippery path; "grass is heavy/ with water", blades of grasses stood the way and the path was too dark but at the end, the snail succeeded in finding its way through with its "pale antlers barely stirring." The snail's destination was all that mattered while it focussed on its mission and pierced through desire or "wood of desire" and such passion made the poet thought at first that the snail was in fury "what is a snail's fury?" line 11.

As the snail trudged through the wet night in loneliness, all its efforts could be traced or found imprinted on the obstacles left behind. The poet concluded: "...I would never have/ imagined the slow passion/ to that deliberate progress." (line 16-18)

According to wikipedia, Thom Gunn was an Anglo-American poet, born 29-08-1929 in Kent, England but later died on 25-04-2004. He attended at University College School during his early years, attended Trinity College, Cambridge where he studied Literature to graduate in 1953.
As a young man, he wrote poetry associated with The Movement and, later, with the work of Ted Hughes. Gunn's poetry, together with that of Philip Larkin, Donald Davie, and other members of The Movement, has been described as "...emphasizing purity of diction and a neutral tone...encouraging a more spare language and a desire to represent a seeing of the world with fresh eyes."


Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings soaring great)


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