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The Snake Trying Summary in English by W.W.E. Ross

The Snake Trying by W.W.E. Ross About the Poet

William Wrightson Eustace Ross (1894-1966) was a Canadian geophysicist and poet. He was the first published poet in Canada to write Imagist poetry, and later the first to write surrealist verse, both of which have led some to call him “the first modem Canadian poet.” Ross’s passion for the natural world is evident in his poetry through its focus on Canada’s physical environment. He published only two collections during his lifetime: Laconics (1930) and Sonnets (1932). After 1930 the majority of Ross’s work was published in anthologies and LITERARY MAGAZINES at the behest of editors. Though now considered to be Canada’s first Imagist poet, Ross remained relatively unrecognized during his lifetime.

Poet Name
W.W.E. Ross
Born 14 June 1894, Peterborough, Canada
Died 26 August 1966, Toronto, Canada
Albums Six Toronto Poets
Education University of Toronto – St. George Campus
The Snake Trying Summary by W.W.E. Ross
The Snake Trying Summary by W.W.E. Ross

The Snake Trying Introduction to the Chapter

Snakes generate both horror and fascination because our reasoning often misleads us into looking at them as fearsome symbols of death. Though snakes are creations of nature, we are afraid of them. Snakes fascinate us but we do not understand the beauty of nature, and we have the impulse to kill it even though we are astounded by its beauty. In the poem The Snake Trying, WWE Ross shows the snake as a victim and man as the assailant.

The Snake Trying Summary in English

In The Snake Trying the poet describes how a snake is trying to get away from a man who is chasing him with a stick.

The snake, who has been lying on the sandy bank of a water body – a pond or a stream – is trying to escape from the man pursuing it with a stick. As it gracefully glides away, curving its thin long body, the snake looks very beautiful. It glides through the water trying to escape from the stroke. The poet exhorts the person attacking the snake to let it go over the water into the reeds to hide, and not hurt it. He adds it is a small, green snake, completely harmless even to small children. The snake lies on the sand until it is observed and is chased away. In the end, it disappears in the ripples in the green reeds.

The Snake Trying Theme

The theme of the poem The Snake Trying is man’s relationship with nature. The narrator offers us two possible ways we can relate to the natural world. The first way is to admire the beauty and grace of the snake. The small green snake is harmless, even to children. We can simply stand by and appreciate its grace and beauty. The second way to relate to nature is through fear and try to eliminate the cause of fear – the snake. Most people perceive the snake as being dangerous and attack it before it can harm them, even if it is lying peacefully until it is disturbed. It is a harmless snake, who is lying on the sand till he is chased by a human being with a stick. Yet, despite being attacked, the snake makes good its escape, rather than retaliate. The snake is in that case a victim.

The Snake Trying Message

In the poem the poet tries to say that human beings react to snakes based on their own fears. He points out that not all snakes are poisonous; in fact, some of them are quite harmless. It is cruel to attack a snake as soon as we see it. Even if a snake is poisonous, it will do us no harm if it doesn’t see any danger from us because a snake only bites in self-protection. Otherwise, it is as harmless as any other creature. Sadly human beings are the ones who attack a snake without provocation.

The Snake Trying Tone

The poet’s mood is that of fear as he sees the man pursue the snake with a snake. The snake’s beauty and grace fill movements arouse awe and fascination in the poet. His tone is filled with admiration for this beautiful creation of nature. He takes on a pleading tone as he begs the man to let the snake go because it is harmless. As he thinks of man attacking the snake, his mind is filled with regret at man’s cruelty.

The Snake Trying Setting

The setting of the poem is the sandy bank of a water body – a pond or a stream with reeds growing on the banks.

The Snake Trying Literary Devices

Imagery is a poetic device wherein the author uses words or phrases that appeal to any of the senses or any combination of senses to create “mental images” for the reader. Imagery helps the reader to visualize more realistically the author’s writings. Imagery is not limited to only visual sensations, but also refers to igniting kinesthetic, olfactory, tactile, gustatory, thermal and auditory sensations as well.

Example: The snake trying
to escape the pursuing stick,
with sudden curvings of thin
long body, (movement)
and now
he vanishes in the ripples
among the green slim reeds, (visual imagery)

The Snake Trying Summary Questions and Answers

Question 1.
What is the snake trying to escape from?
The snake is trying to escape from a being hit by a stick, or even worse, being killed. It is being chased by someone with a stick. The person is afraid of the snake and perceives it as a potential threat.

Question 2.
Is the snake harmful?
No, it is not a harmful snake as it is not poisonous. The poet says the snake is a green one. Green snakes are generally garden snakes and are considered harmless as they are not venomous.

Question 3.
Why did the person with a stick attack the snake?
The person attacked the snake when he saw it lying on the sand. He was driven by his own fear of snakes and their being venomous that led him to attack the snake to either kill it or drive it away.

Question 4.
What do you learn about the person attacking the snake?
The person attacking the snake is governed by his fear of snakes. He wishes to kill or hurt the snake and rushes in to attack the snake, without pausing to consider that the snake is a green garden snake which is not venomous. Moreover, the snake is lying on the sand, and is not about to attack anyone. The man is also pitiless as he goes to hurt or kill the snake.

Question 5.
What does the poet wish for the snake?
The poet sees the snake as a beautiful creation of Nature. Moreover, it is a green garden snake and not a harmful one. He wishes that it should not be assaulted with the stick. It should be allowed to go under the water into the reeds to hide without being hurt.

Question 6.
Where was the snake before someone saw it and chased it away? Where does the snake disappear?
The snake was lying unobserved on the sand till someone saw it and, fearing it, rushed to attack it with a stick. The pursuer chased it away. The snake disappeared in the ripples of the water among the green reeds.

Question 7.
What does the poet mean when he says ‘O Let him go’?
The poet tells the man chasing the snake with a stick to let the snake go. The poet wishes that the snake should not be hurt and should be allowed to make its escape and reach its destination safely.

Question 8.
‘He is harmless even to children.’ What does the poet think about the snake?
The poet is of the opinion that the snake which is being chased is a green snake of the garden variety and is not venomous. It is not harmful, not even to children who are more vulnerable. He feels the snake should not be hurt and should be allowed to reach its place safely.

Question 9.
What impression do you form of the poet in this poem?
The poet loves Nature and all its creations. He finds the snake and its graceful movements beautiful. He is compassionate and does not want the snake harmed. He tries to stop the person with the stick from attacking the snake and is happy to see the snake glide away into the reeds.

Question 10.
What is the central idea of the poem “The Snake Trying”?
The poet says that all snakes are not venomous or harmful. Nor do they attack without provocation.

Even if a snake is poisonous, it will do us no harm if it doesn’t see any danger from us. It is wrong to attack or kill a snake as soon as we see it. But sadly, human beings always try to kill a snake as soon as they see it. All creatures have a right to their life. Like the snake in this poem all try to save themselves in case of danger.