Reading Record: Nettles
The poem ‘Nettles’ is a poem that explores the relationship between a father and his son, taking that into account, I feel that the audience that this poem is aimed at are parents because, parents would be the only people who would be able to relate to the perspective that the narrator is seeing things from, since only a parent would be able to comprehend the agitation the narrator feels when he finds out that his son has been hurt. In the poem ‘Nettles’, Vernon Scannell takes something that could be pondered as a simple yet common occurrence, and with some deep thinking about its implications, arrives at an insight into what could be outweighed as a serious problem mankind has to face, suffering at the hands of war.
Structure/Shape of the poem/Form:
The poem ‘Nettles’ is only made up of one 16 line long stanza, Scannell could have intentionally done this so to symbolise how long a parent has a bond with their child: until the age of 16. Possible reasons as to why Scannell chose to make it this long could be because, after the age of 16, children tend to break away from their family due to the fact that they themselves are becoming adults and could possibly be having thoughts of starting a family of their own.
Scannell has given the poem a rhyme scheme which has a ‘AB AB CD CD’ pattern which is used throughout the poem. By doing this, Scannell could have been attempting to spark the thought of soldiers marching into our heads because, when soldiers are marching they are in complete sync and are able to maintain this synchronisation without even being one second behind the rest. Furthermore, Scannell has used an iambic pentameter on every single line of the poem. This use of the iambic pentameter is able to maintain this whole army idea because, by being able to maintain this 10 syllable limit per line, Scannell is able to convey this ordered idea which is often used in the army. The consistently changing rhyme pattern and use of the iambic pentameter give the poem an ordered, army-like feel.
... with the irregularities in meter, neither poem has a regular line length or rhyming pattern.Dickinsons poem contains alternating tetrameters and trimeters, with ... Sea in line 10 rhymes with Me in line 12. Whitmans poem contains even more irregular line lengths. The first 4 lines of each stanza ...
Poetic Devices/Memorable Imagery/Language:
When aware of his son’s injuries, the father exterminates a bed of nettles which grow on top of the land behind a shed. Whilst the father is unleashing his indignation upon the nettles, through the use of a careful selection of words, Scannell is able to link the pain of being stung by a nettle to a completely different scale of human suffering which takes place on a wide scale in society today: war. Scannell is able to make the ‘bed’ of Nettles resemble an army by referring to them as ‘spears’, spears which could resemble the arsenal the army possess which could potentially inflict fatal damage to their opposition. Scannell then refers to these ‘spears’ as a ‘regiment of spite’ which could resemble how the army, to an extent, is disciplined to see the opposition suffer during war. Furthermore, when the Nettles grow back they are referred to as ‘tall recruits’ which could perhaps be symbolising people that recruit themselves in the army for an occupation and finally they are referred to as the ‘fallen dead’ which could be referring to the soldiers being killed in battle. By using these metaphors, Scannell has managed to express the nettles’ spite more vividly with his own feelings of anger and aggression.
Through the use of the metaphor ‘My son would often feel sharp wounds again’ the poet could be using the nettles to symbolise the various types of pain the son will have to endure when he has grown up. This change in tense from past to future on the last line of the poem could be the real message of this poem, which is that parents are not able to protect their children forever. The father in the poem recognises both the vulnerability of his child which is expressed by the line where ‘White blisters beaded on his tender skin’ which then makes the father feel hopeless because he is aware that he cannot protect his son forever. In addition, by using these military metaphors and conveying them through the use of a plant, Scannell could intentionally be using language to suggest this idea that savage-like and blood filled things like war are all a part of human nature.
... relationships including the one shared between a father and his son. The two father / son relationships that are portrayed in the novel ... and rabbinic studies. The third difference between the father / son relationships in The Chosen regards the religious beliefs of ... Throughout the novel the readers learn more about the father-son relationships and are able to notice three differences between ...