Snake Poem Summary Questions Theme PDF Notes Text

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SNAKE by D.H. Lawrence

Snake Poem Text | Snake Poem Words | Content | Verses

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 me.

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,

Silently.

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 an 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.

Snake Poem Summary Questions Theme PDF Notes Text

Snake Poem Explanation Line by Line | Snake Poem Explanation With Quotes

  • A snake came to my water-trough 
  • On a hot, hot day, and I in pajamas for the heat, 
  • To drink there.

Lines 1-3 (A snake — drink there)

The poet says that on a hot day, a snake came to his water trough to drink water. 

  • 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 me. 

Lines 4-7 (In the deep—-before me)

The poet had arrived down the stairs into his lawn where there was a great dark carob-tree with its strange smell. He had pitches in his hand. But he had to wait there for his turn because the snake was already there before him. 

  • 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 silently. 

Lines 8-14 (He reached—–body, silently)

The snake had arrived there from the dreadful dark hole of the mud wall. He dragged his soft yellow-brown golden body to the edge of the water-trough. He placed his throat upon the bottom of the water-trough. He sipped water softly and quietly by means of his soft gums. 

  • Someone was before me at my water-trough, 
  • And I, like a second comer, waiting.

Lines 15-16 (Someone was—–comer, waiting)

The snake was there before the poet so like a second comer he had to wait for his turn. Humanism is the underlying meaning of these lines. 

  • He lifted his head from 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.

Lines 17-22 (He lifted — Etna smoking)

Then the snake lifted his head like a drinking cattle and looked at the poet. He waved his two forked tongue, paused for a while, and stooped to drink more. His color was blaze golden due to the intense heat of the interior earth in the flaming July of Sicily. 

  • 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.

Lines 23-27 (The voice–him off)

The poet came to know through his external education that the snake was dangerous due to its external golden color. He thought he should kill him in order to prove his manhood. 

  • 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

Lines 28-29 (But must—-Water-trough)

The poet restrained himself to kill the snake and happily accepted him as an innocent guest in his home. Humanism is the underlying meaning of these lines. 

  • 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 honored? 
  • I felt so honored.

Lines 30-35 (And depart–so honored)

The poet thought that if the snake was a guest then how he could depart silently and thankless. Then there are three possibilities of his skip, the poet was cowardice, abnormal or he felt hospitality. Actually, he enjoyed much honor as a host.

  • And yet those voices: 
  • If you were not afraid, you would kill him!

Lines 36-37 (And yet–kill him)

His inner voice/wisdom told him that if he was not afraid, he must kill the snake because he was an enemy. 

  • And truly I was afraid, I was most afraid, 
  • But even so, honored still more 
  • That he should seek my hospitality 
  • From out the dark door of the secret earth

Lines 38-41 (And truly—-secret earth)

The poet admitted that he was really afraid of the snake but he felt more honor because the snake came from the inner depths of the earth like a stranger. Actually, the poet enjoyed much honor as a host. 

  • 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 in a dream, 
  • Proceeded to draw his slow length curving round 
  • And climb again the broken bank of my wall face. 

Lines 42-50 (He drank—-wall face)

After drinking enough water, the snake-like a proud god lifted his head and flickered his night-like-black tongue in the air to lick his lips. At the same time, he was looking like a dreadful dreamy drunkard. Then he drew his laid-bad long body and climbed again on the broken part of the wall. 

  • And as he put his head into that dreadful hole, 
  • And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulder, 
  • and entered farther, 
  • A sort of horror, a sort of protest against his withdrawal into 
  • that horrid black hole. 
  • Deliberately going into the blackness, and slowly drawing 
  • himself after, 
  • Overcame me, now his back was turned. 
  • I looked around, I put down my pitcher, 
  • I picked up a clumsy log 
  • And threw it at the water-trough with a clatter. 

Lines 51-63 (And as—-with a clatter)

The snake drew his laid-back long body and entered his head into the dreadful dark hole of the wall. The poet felt horror under the pressure of his striking beauty, dreadful dark hole, his harmful nature, his strangeness, loneliness, his thankless poet’s regret, feelings of defeat, jealousy of his royal bearing mingled with education and mindset of honor. As his back turned, his indifferent turn and all other feelings overcame the poet. He could not control his anger. He put down his pitcher and found a clumsy club. He threw it at the water-trough with a rattle. 

  • 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.

Lines 64-69 (I think—-with fascination)

The post threw a clumsy club at the water-trough with a rattle. He realized that it did not hit him. But the remaining part of the tail vibrated in a disgraceful haste like a flash of lightning and entered into the dreadful dark hole of the wall. The poet stood there in the intense heat of noon and looked at the disappearance of the snake with wonder and charm.

  • 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. 

Line 73-77 (And immediately—crowned again)

The poet at once felt guilty of striking the snake. He considered that it was a mean, indecent and petty act on his part. He began to hate himself and worldly education. He considered it the same sin which was done by Mariner of Coleridge, who killed an innocent bird Albatross and this is still a mystery that why he killed him. The poet felt terror that he would also face the miseries like Mariner. So he desired to respect and love the beautiful creature of God for regeneration and considered him as a king of the underworld. Humanism is the underlying meaning of these lines. 

  • And so, I missed my chance with one of the lords Of life:
  • And I have something to expiate; 
  • A pettiness: 

Lines 78-79 (And so——a pettiness)

The poet says that he had lost a chance to talk with the underground lord. According to the poet, the snake was a king of his own world and must be treated accordingly. He felt guilty of committing a mean action. So he wanted to pay some penalty for his petty and vulgar actions as a human being.

Comments:-

All Creatures of God must be treated well.

Snake Poem Reference to the Context with Explanation

Reference:

These lines have been taken from the poem “Snake” written by D.H. Lawrence.

Context:

The poet saw a snake drinking water at his water-trough and liked his beauty so much but then he picked a stick and threw it on the snake because of his education which was saying that snakes are poisonous. Actually, the poem presents a conflict between rational and intuitive – social education and self-education. All education is bad which is not self-education. The poet also let his schooling interfere with his conscience, conscience and self-education, and finally remorse.

Explanation:- 

Note: The lines in brackets could be added to the beginning of the explanation of every stanza.

(This poem points out the poet’s reactions of fear, fascination, honor, disgust, and finally remorse. As a moralist, the poet realized, has not a snake eyes? Has not a snake breathed, organs, senses, affections, passions, fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a man is? If you prick him, does he not bleed? If you tickle him, does he not laugh? And if you wrong him, will he not revenge? So the poet became sensitive to every movement of the snake.) 

Snake Poem Important Questions and Answers

  1. Why does the poet feel repentant after his encounter with the snake?
  2. How does education overcome instinct in “Snake”? 
  3. Why does D.H. Lawrence curse his education? 
  4. Why does the poet think of his education as “accursed”? 
  5. Can you point out the subtle changes in the poet’s relationship with the snake?
  6. Why does the poet regret? 
  7. What type of horror overcomes the poet?
  8. What did the poet feel at the disappearance of the snake? 
  9. Why does the poet feel his act petty? 
  10. Why does the poet throws a stick at the snake? 
  11. Why does the poet try to kill the snake? 
Snake Poem Summary Questions Theme PDF Notes Text

Snake Poem Summary, Theme & Critical Appreciation

Multi-Answer For All The Above Questions

Note: You can write this answer for any question related to the poem Snake!

The poet saw a snake drinking water at his water-trough and liked his beauty so much but then he picked a stick and threw it on the snake because of his education which was saying that snakes are poisonous. Actually, the poem presents a conflict between rational and intuitive – social education and self-education. All education is bad which is not self-education. The poet also let his schooling interfere with his conscience, conscience and self-education, and finally remorse.

The poet felt horror / (shows different reactions) under the pressure of his striking beauty, dreadful dark hole, his harmful nature, his strangeness, loneliness, his thanklessness, regret, feelings of defeat, jealousy of his royal bearing! all mingled with education and a mindset of honor. So he tried to kill him. But suddenly, he began to hate himself and worldly education. Then he felt terror that he would also face the miseries like Marinet. So he regretted and desired to respect and love the beautiful creature of God for regeneration.

This poem points out the poet’s reactions of fear, fascination, honour, disgust, and finally remorse. As a moralist, the poet realized, has not a snake eyes? Has not a snake breathed, organs, senses, affections, passions, fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a man is? If you prick him, does he not bleed? If you tickle him, does he not laugh? And if you wrong him, will he not get revenge? So he wanted to pay some penalty for his petty and vulgar action being a human.

“All creatures of God must be treated well.”

Snake Poem Summary Questions Theme PDF Notes Text

These are some other questions under the post Snake Poem Summary Questions Theme PDF Notes Text that may be important according to the examination.

  • Why does the poet glad to see the snake at his water trough?  
  • Pick out all the descriptive words used for the snake? 
  • How does the poet try to make his snake supernatural?  
  • Why does the poet want to receive the snake as a guest? 
  • Why did the poet like the snake? 

Ans:- 

This poem points out the poet’s reactions of fear, fascination, honour, disgust, and finally remorse. As a moralist, the poet realized, has not a snake eyes? Has not a snake breathed, organs, senses, affections, passions, fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a man is? If you prick him, does he not bleed? If you tickle him, does he not laugh? So he desired to respect and love the beautiful creature of God.

Several words are used for the supernatural functions in the description of snake which are, yellow-brown, earth brown, earth golden, soft-bellied, straight mouth, straight gums, slack long body, two-forked tongue, forked night on the air, drunken, god, king in exile and uncrowned.

Thus the poet was glad to see the beautiful snake at his water-trough because he felt that the snake had chosen his hospitality. The poet admitted that he was really afraid of the snake but he felt more honor because the snake came from the inner depths of the earth like a king. The snake was a guest for him and it was his duty to entertain him. He felt that the snake was worthy of his friendship and this discovery made him glad. Actually, the poet enjoyed much honor as a host.

“All creatures of God must be treated well.”

  • What does the snake stand for? How should these forces be controlled? 
  • What is the hidden moral of the poem ‘Snake’? 
  • What does the poet want to teach us? 

Ans:- 

This poem points out the poet’s reactions of fear, fascination, honour, disgust, and finally remorse. As a moralist, the poet realized, has not a snake eyes? Has not a snake breathed, organs, senses, affections, passions, fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a man is? If you prick him, does he not bleed? If you tickle him, does he not laugh? So he desired to respect and love the beautiful creature of God.

In the poem, the snake represents the force of darkness, brutality, and ignorance. These forces harm man no doubt, but they should not be crushed with power and authority. They must be conquered by the use of our creative and intuitive powers. The poet has drawn the conflict between the use of rational powers and intuitive powers. He wants to teach us that we should hate the sin but love the sinners.

“All creatures of God must be treated well.”

  • Why does the poet put the reference of Albatross? 

Ans:- 

The poet saw a snake drinking water at his water-trough and liked his beauty so much but then he picked a stick and threw it on the snake because of his education which was saying that snakes are poisonous. Actually, the poem presents a conflict between rational and intuitive – social education and self-education. All education is bad which is not self-education. The poet also let his schooling interfere 

with his conscience, conscience and self-education, and finally remorse.

The poet felt horror / (shows different reactions) under the pressure of his striking beauty, dreadful dark hole, his harmful nature, his strangeness, loneliness, his thanklessness, regret, feelings of defeat, jealousy of his royal bearing! all mingled with education and a mindset of honor. So he tried to kill him. Then the poet at once felt guilty of striking the snake. He considered that it was a mean, indecent and petty act on his part. He began to hate himself and worldly education. He considered it the same sin which was done by Mariner of Coleridge, who killed an innocent bird Albatross and this is still a mystery that why he killed him. The poet felt terror that he would also face the miseries like Mariner. So he desired to respect and love the beautiful creature of God for regeneration and considered him as a king of the underworld. Humanism is the underlying meaning of these lines.

“All creatures of God must be treated well”

Snake Poem Summary Questions Theme PDF Notes Text
Snake Poem Summary in Urdu

شاعر نے دیکھا کہ ایک سانپ نے اپنی جانب کے کنارے پر پانی پی رہا ہے اور اس کی خوبصورتی کو اس نے بہت پسند کیا ہے لیکن پھر اس نے ایک لاٹھی اٹھا کر اسے اپنی تعلیم کی وجہ سے سانپ پر پھینک دیا جس کی وجہ سے یہ کہہ رہا تھا کہ سانپ زہریلے ہیں۔

دراصل ، نظم عقلی اور بدیہی – معاشرتی تعلیم اور خود تعلیم کے مابین تنازعہ پیش کرتی ہے۔ ساری تعلیم خراب ہے جو خود تعلیم نہیں ہے۔

شاعر نے اپنی اسکول کی تعلیم کو بھی اس کے ضمیر اور خود تعلیم میں مداخلت کرنے اور آخر میں پچھتاوا ہونے دیا۔

شاعر نے اپنی حیرت انگیز خوبصورتی ، خوفناک تاریک سوراخ ، اس کی مضر طبیعت ، اس کی عجیب و غریب کیفیت ، تنہائی ، اس کی بدقسمتی ، افسوس ، شکست کے احساسات ، اپنے شاہی اثر کی حسد کے دباؤ پر خوفناک / (مختلف ردعمل ظاہر کرتا ہے) محسوس کیا! سب تعلیم اور اعزاز کی ذہن سازی کے ساتھ گھل مل گئے۔

تو اس نے اسے جان سے مارنے کی کوشش کی۔ لیکن اچانک ، وہ خود سے اور دنیاوی تعلیم سے نفرت کرنے لگا۔ پھر اسے دہشت محسوس ہوئی کہ اسے بھی مرینٹ جیسی پریشانیوں کا سامنا کرنا پڑے گا۔

لہذا اس نے ندامت کا اظہار کیا اور تخلیق نو کے لئے خدا کی خوبصورت مخلوق کا احترام اور پیار کرنا چاہا۔

اس نظم میں شاعر کے خوف ، سحر ، غیرت ، نفرت اور آخر میں پچھتاوے کے رد عمل کی نشاندہی کی گئی ہے۔

ایک اخلاقیات کی حیثیت سے ، شاعر کو احساس ہوا ، کیا سانپ کی آنکھیں نہیں ہیں؟ کیا سانپ نےسانس نہیں لی ، اعضاء ، حواس ، پیار ، جذبات ، ایک ہی کھانے سے کھلایا ، ایک ہی ہتھیاروں سے تکلیف دی ، اسی طرح سردیوں اور گرمیوں میں ٹھنڈا ہوتا ہے، جیسے انسان ہے؟

اگر آپ اسے چک کریں تو کیا اسے خون نہیں آتا؟ اگر آپ اسے گدگدی کرتے ہیں تو ، کیا وہ ہنس نہیں سکتا ہے؟ اور اگر آپ نے اس پر ظلم کیا تو کیا اسے بدلہ نہیں ملے گا؟

لہذا وہ انسان کی حیثیت سے اس کی چھوٹی موٹی اور فحش حرکت کے لیے کچھ جرمانہ ادا کرنا چاہتا تھا۔

“خدا کی تمام مخلوقات کے ساتھ اچھا سلوک کرنا چاہئے۔”

Topic list of Snake Poem Summary Questions Theme PDF Notes Text;

  • Snake poem questions and answers
  • Snake poem theme
  • Snake poem summary in Urdu
  • Snake poem figures of speech
  • Snake poem in English
  • Snake poem pdf
  • Snake poem critical appreciation
  • Snake poem explanation line by line
  • Snake poem meaning
  • Snake poem text
  • Snake poem words
  • Snake poem activities
  • Snake poem poetic devices

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