Metempsychosis And Psalm To Snake Analysis

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The snake is a very prominent feature in Atwood’s works and can be seen in various poems such as “Snake Woman”, “Bad Mouth”, “Eating Snake” and “Quattrocento”. Atwood’s poem collection: Interlunar is essentially an assortment of her snake poems and among these poems are Metempsychosis and Psalm to Snake, the two poems that I will be discussing today.

While many people often relate snakes to negative connotations such as trickery or the lack of honesty, Atwood’s use of snakes tends to give them a lot of supremacy, often using the snake as a symbol of a higher power. It is also her use of snake that creates a connection between the poems of Metempsychosis and Psalm to Snake. However, contrary to Atwood’s typical use of snake as a higher power, in these two seemingly unrelated poems, the snake is essentially a symbol for the basic element and original state of a particularly subject.

Metempsychosis Intro
First let’s look at the poem Metempsychosis. Metempsychosis is
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However, this movement of gliding resembles the movement of snakes. The grandmother is also described as being in widow’s black. A black widow is a spider that like a snake can be very poisonous however, a black widow is much smaller in size and does not strike as fast as a snake does. This subtle mention of snakes and widows hints at the fact that this grandmother also had dreams and ambitions, but they are no longer as prominent as before.

Then the poem mentions “who were you when you were a snake?” Here, the symbolic meaning of snake is used to further introduce the concept of the grandmother’s original dreams and ambitions. It seems to be question “Who did you want to be originally? What were your dreams and ambitions?”. Furthermore, this phrase stands alone as a stanza, creating an emphasis on the introduction of the
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