‘Snake’ is probably D. H. Lawrence’s best-known poem. Lawrence wrote ‘Snake’ while he was living on the island of Sicily, in the beautiful resort, Taormina, on the east side of the island. ‘Snake’ is conversational in tone, which makes it reasonably accessible; nevertheless, some words of analysis on the poem’s language and meaning may be useful.
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. Read the rest of this entry