Snake poem by DH Lawrence

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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 before


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,

i o 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.

He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do,

And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do,

And flickered his two-forked tongue from his lips, and mused a moment,

And stooped and drank a little more,

Being earth-brown, earth-golden from the burning bowels of the earth

On the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking.

The voice of my education said to me

He must be killed,

For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous.

And voices in me said, If you were a man

You would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off.

But must I confess how I liked him,

How glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink at my water-trough

And depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless,

Into the burning bowels of this earth?

Was it cowardice, that I dared not kill him? Was it perversity, that I longed to talk to him? Was it humility, to feel so honoured?

I felt so honoured.

And yet those voices:

If you were not afraid, you would kill him!

And truly I was afraid, I was most afraid, But even so, honoured still more

That he should seek my hospitality

From out the dark door of the secret earth.

He drank enough

And lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken,

And flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black,

Seeming to lick his lips,

And looked around like a god, unseeing, into the air,

And slowly turned his head,

And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice adream,

Proceeded to draw his slow length curving round

And climb again the broken bank of my wall-face.

And as he put his head into that dreadful hole,

And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders, and entered farther,

A sort of Horror, a sort of protest against his withdrawing into that horrid black hole,

Deliberately going into the blackness, and slowly drawing himself after,

Overcame me now his back was turned.

I looked round, I put down my pitcher,

I picked up a clumsy log

And threw it at the water-trough with a clatter.

I think it did not hit him,

But suddenly that part of him that was left behind convulsed in undignified haste.

Writhed like lightning, and was gone

Into the black hole, the earth-lipped fissure in the wall-front,

At which, in the intense still noon, I stared with fascination.

And immediately I regretted it.

I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act!

I despised myself and the voices of my accursed human education.

And I thought of the albatross

And I wished he would come back, my snake.

For he seemed to me again like a king,

Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld,

Now due to be crowned again.

And so, I missed my chance with one of the lords

Of life.

And I have something to expiate:

A pettiness.

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Q: Snake poem by DH Lawrence
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Summary of a DH Lawrence poem?

DH Lawrence's poetry often explores themes of nature, love, and the human relationship with the natural world. His works frequently delve into the complexities of emotions, desires, and societal constraints, offering a candid and sometimes controversial perspective on the human experience. Lawrence's unique use of language and imagery is known for evoking raw and passionate emotions, capturing the essence of life's joys and struggles.

What literary allusion is in DH Lawrence's Snake?

near the end of the poem, the narrator brings up the albatross, which is a reference to coleridge's poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" which tells about a sailor who kills a bird-the albatross-and is cursed. after that, he's forced to re-tell the story of his encounter with the albatross forever.

Where is Alliteration used in poem snake by DH Lawrence?

The poet describes how, when he came down to get water on a hot day, he saw a snake already there drinking water. He is fascinated by the quietness and beauty of the snake and thinks of it as a guest who had honoured him by coming to his water trough. His training and education tell him that such golden snakes are poisonous and must be killed, but something ( his cowardice or his perversity ) stops him from hitting the snake. He catches the snake as it gradually withdraws into a crack in the wall, and then, in a moment of weakness, hits the snake with a log of wood. The snake quickly disappears and the poet is overcome with a sense of guilt at his meanness in trying to kill the snake which had only come to drink water and not to harm him. The poet feels as if he has committed a sin and must atone for it like the Ancient Mariner who had killed the albatross.

What school did DH Lawrence go to?

Beauvale board school

What is DH Lawrence known for?

DH Lawrence is best know as an English poet and writer. His most notable works include Lady Chatterley's Lover, Sons and Lovers, and the Virgin and the Gypsy.

What is the summary for Donts by DH Lawrence?

DH Lawrenceâ??s poem â??Don'tsâ?? warns a young boy against living by anyoneâ??s constructs and standards other than his own. In particular, he warns him not to live up to the standards of â??The dear little girl who costs you your manhoodâ?? Lawrence has been accused of having been a bit misogynistic.

What DH Lawrence book was read in Pleasantville?

She is reading "Lady Chatterly's Lover."

How did DH Lawrence die?

The cause of death for D.H. Lawrence was tuberculosis. He passed away at the age of 44 on March 2, 1930.

What points of view does the poet use in the poem of piano DH Lawrence?

In "Piano" by D.H. Lawrence, the poet uses the first-person point of view to reminisce about his memories of childhood. The poem also conveys a nostalgic and emotional tone as the speaker recalls the comfort and solace provided by the piano in his past.

In the D H Lawrence poem Intimates how does the speaker avoid injury?

In the poem "Intimates" by D.H. Lawrence, the speaker avoids injury by retreating into his inner world of imagination and memories, finding solace and comfort in his own thoughts and emotions rather than engaging with the harsh realities of the outside world. This allows him to protect himself from the potential harm and pain that external influences can bring.

Whose intials are DH?

One famous person with the initials DH is David Hasselhoff, a well-known actor and singer.

DH Lawrence is known for his prominent use of the Freudian theory of what in his writings?

DH Lawrence is known for his prominent use of the Freudian theory of sexuality and the unconscious in his writings. He often explores themes of desire, repression, and the subconscious mind in his works.