Nettles Figurative Language

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The poem ‘Nettles’ (New & Collected Poems 1950–1980) is written by Vernon Scannel. ‘Nettles’ pertain to the parent/child relationship, and a parent’s instinct to protect his child. The literal meaning of the poem is, about a parent, Vernon himself, and his child. The child falls into a bed of nettles behind a shed; consequently wounding him. After soothing his child, Vernon light up the nettles, till nothing is left. The poem ends with a fact; that his child will fall into these nettles again, because; “in two weeks the busy sun and rain…Had called up tall recruits…” I believe that between the lines, Vernon, in reality, is trying to express the topic of war through this poem, metaphorically using nettles. In this one stanza poem figurative language dominates. In the poem there is the family and the opposing force, nettles. The personification of nettles is done, to make them look aggressive and violent; like soldiers in war. There is a narrative tone to the poem with a moral tone that links with war. He describes the nettles as “the regiment of spite”. Not only does he directly call them troops, but he also provides them an actual feeling, spite. He especially personifies them, when taking revenge by burning them down. He also puts out the fact…show more content…
The whole poem is a single stanza of four, cross rhymed quatrains, ABAB. Furthermore every line has iambic pentameter; ten syllables complimented with five stressed and unstressed beats. This creates a steady and calm rhythm. Contrary to the poem’s topic of war. In only one line does he not use this; “And went outside and slashed with fury with it” this helps the reader understand his hatred towards war; the “nettles”. He uses caesura three times. Two times using periods intelligently with lines that express finished actions. Where he uses the comma, is there he wants us to really think about, what he is going to do with this
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