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Considering the Snail - English Literature Poem Essay

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Considering the Snail Questions 1. What do you take to be the poem?s central theme? Explore Gunn?s approach 2. What contribution is made to the poem by its syntax? 3. How does the poet manipulate line breaking to influence meaning? If the reader were to define the central theme as a main idea of the poem and/or the authors' feelings about it; we can conclude that Considering the Snail by Thom Gunn is a play that centres on a snail?s journey through life and how the persona of the poem interrupts the snail?s activities. The first stanza elaborates on the movements of a snail battling through grass, whereby it makes a ?bright path? through the ?wood of desire?. This section of the poem is deliberately concentrating on describing the journey of a snail and what human emotions, from a human?s perspective, the snail could be experiencing on what must seem an enormous voyage. The second stanza then brings in the eye of the persona whereby he is directly speaking to the reader and explaining that he ?cannot tell what power is at work? when observing the snail and it?s trail of slime. This implies that the persona could be in a position of watching the snail in this stanza, for example, gardening. ...read more.


This clever use of manipulating the sentence structure enables Gunn to portray two potential meanings within one sentence, which in turn, provides the poem with complexity and depth, despite it?s ordinary and mundane atmosphere. ________________ A line break is the place where a line of poetry ends, unguided by traditional punctuation conventions. Line breaks are important in poetry because they so often introduce ambiguity and affect meaning. Poets use line breaks to lead readers into multiple understandings and surprising ideas, as well as to control the flow at which they encounter ideas and images. Taking this into consideration, we can analyses several aspects of the poem where line ending is able to emphasize the central theme of the poem; a day in a life of a snail. One example of manipulation of line breaking within the poem can be seen in the last two lines of stanza two: ? What?s a snail?s fury? All I think that if later? Within two lines, Gunn is able to emphasize several subtle meanings of the persona?s opinion and it manages to directly ask the subject of the poem, the snail the question in hope of a response which each the snail has provided or the persona has presumed. The question ?what?s a snail?s fury?? implies that the snail is in fact conscious and is able to feel such emotion as fury; that if the ...read more.


Gunn has also allowed the flow of rhyme to enhance through the lack of punctuation at the end of each line, which allows the reader to appreciate the rhyming structure of ABC ABC, consonantal half rhyme with seven syllables; of the poem without having to take into account abrupt full stops with could disconnect the pattern. Poetry is usually defined by the amount of stresses and unstressed syllables within a line, rather than just syllables; this unusual and abstract use of rhyme could promote the theme of the snail being in fact not self conscious and insensitive In conclusion, Gunn cleverly manipulates line breaking within Considering the Snail with allows the reader to appreciate other subtle complexities the poem has to offer; the theme of a snail?s journey and long syntax structures, through the elongation of three stanzas to accumulate into one and also how the rhyming structure can be enhanced through the absent use of full stops. Overall, Gunn has managed to produce a worthy poem of such a subject, a snail, that is often negatively thought of or perceived, through his ability to manipulate the syntax structure and thus, the line breaking of the poem. INTRODUCE ANTLERS FURY = FAST, VIOLENT EMOTION RHYMING STRUCTURE IS NOT NOTICED EMOTIONAL LANGUAGE AND URGENCY VS AN EMAIL WHICH IS NOT URGENT FREQUENT ENJAMBMENT SNAIL CONVEYS HUMAN EMOTION THROUGH DETERMINATION THE JOURNEY IMPORTANT NOT THE DESTINATION ...read more.

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