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In 'Night of the Scorpion' and 'Vultures', the use of description is both vivid and surprising. The descriptions often lead the reader to expect a certain conclusion or tone and then the poets' use of description changes

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Introduction

In 'Night of the Scorpion' and 'Vultures', the use of description is both vivid and surprising. The descriptions often lead the reader to expect a certain conclusion or tone and then the poets' use of description changes and this changes the reader's anticipation of how the poems might develop; this is what makes the poems thought-provoking and surprising. The title 'Night of the Scorpion' sounds like the sort of name a horror film might be given. This is misleading because this poem is not like a horror film at all. Instead of the scorpion being the enemy, the poet 's description of the scorpion's circumstances leads us to feel sympathy for it. ...read more.

Middle

Ezekiel's sympathy for the scorpion is contrasted with the moment that the scorpion stings his mother - 'flash' reflects the sudden and shocking moment of the sting. His tail is described as 'diabolic' and the neighbours call the scorpion 'the evil one'; the repetition of the alliteration 'parting with his poison' helps the reader feel the sudden and dangerous nature of the sting because the P sounds quick and harsh. Similarly, the title of the poem 'Vultures' leads the reader to make assumptions about what the poem is about. In fact, the poem is not really about vultures at all. ...read more.

Conclusion

Sunrise is 'sunbreak' and it's grey. There is no anticipation that this will be a happy or sunny poem and yet, unexpectedly, the vulture inclines his 'bashed in head' to nestle affectionately against his mate. This one description of love is immediately followed by more images of the repulsive and macabre as the eating habits of the birds are described vividly. Both poems use unexpected changes of mood to engage the reader with the ideas of the poems. We start off feeling sympathy for the scorpion, but are left thinking perhaps this really is a diabolical creature. With the vultures, we feel that they represent something depressing and violent and yet we are surprised by the affection between the two birds. ...read more.

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