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Born: 11 September 1885. Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England.
Died: 2 March 1930. Vence, France
Notable works:Novel: Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in
Love, Lady Chatterley's Lover
Short Story: Odour of Chrysanthemums, The Virgin and the
Gipsy, The Rocking-Horse Winner
Play: The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd
THE POEM IS A FREE VERSE, HAVING NO SPECIFIC
RHYMING PATTERN. THE P O E M ’ S F I R S T P A R T T A L K S
ABOUT THE ARRIVAL OF THE POET AND THE SNAKE
WITH A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SNAKE. THE
SECOND DIVISION TALKS ABOUT THE MODE OF THE
DRINKING OF THE SNAKE AND THE PATIENT ATTITUDE
OF THE POET. FURTHERMORE, THE THIRD SEGMENT
F E A T U R E S T H E P O E T ’ S M I N D C O N F L I C T O N W H E T H E R
TO KILL OR SPARE THE SNAKE. THE NEXT SEGMENT
PORTRAYS THE RETURNING OF THE SNAKE AND
LASTLY, THE REMORSE SHOWN BY THE POET WAS
1. UNITY CO-EXISTENCE
BETWEEN MAN AND ANIMAL
3. HARMLESS ATTITUDE OF
A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas
for the heat ,
To drink there.
In the deep, strange-scented shade
of the great dark carob-tree
I came down the steps with my pitcher And must wait, must stand and
wait, for there he was at the trough
On a very hot day, the narrator in his pyjamas, headed towards his water
trough to drink some cool and refreshing water, in order to beat the heat.
Little did he know that a wild snake from the neighbouring jungle had
crawled towards the water-trough too. The two are about to encounter each
other in a subtle way. In the deep strange-scented shade of the great dark
carob-trees, the narrator came down the steps with his pitcher. He suddenly
saw the snake, stopped and waited, for there the snake was at the trough
…..He reached down from a fissure in
the earth-wall in the gloom
And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over the edge of the stone trough
And rested his throat upon the stone bottom,
And where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small clearness,
He sipped with his straight mouth,
Softly drank through his straight gums into his slack long body,
Someone was before me at my water-trough ,
And I, like a second comer, waiting .
The snake reached down from a fissure: a narrow opening, cleft or
crevice; a splitting apart or break; cleavage; to crack, split or cleave; in
the earth wall in the gloom; a dark place: and trailed its yellow brown
slackness soft-bellied down, over the edge of the store trough and it
rested its throat upon the stone bottom. The water had dripped from the
tap in a small clearness. The snake sipped with its clear mouth and
softly drank through its straight gums into his slack long body, very
silently. Someone was before the narrator at his water trough and he is
waiting like a second comer.
1. Water-trough - It consists of a long trough filled with water
2. Pitcher - a container, usually with a handle and spout or lip,
for holding and pouring liquids.
3. Fissure - a narrow opening produced by cleavage or
separation of parts.
4. Muse – ponder, contemplate
5. Bowels – the inward or interior parts
Poetic devices used in the poem are:-