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HUNTING SNAKE

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by

Kashish Gupta

on 2 October 2014

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Transcript of HUNTING SNAKE

STRUCTURE
STANZA BY STANZA
STANZA 1
The personification “late season’s grace” makes the season seem like it is a graceful and a pleasant human being. The second line of the poem “under the autumn’s gentlest sky” also suggests that the poet loves the nature and respects it too as she has used the adjective “gentlest” to describe the sky.
These first two lines also implies that the day had been pleasant and normal until the poet encountered the “great black snake” after which she was mesmerized by him.
In the very first line, Wright has also used a caesura after “we walked” followed by “and froze half through a pace”. The use of the caesura after walked makes us imagine how stunned they were that they froze right in the middle of their walk further reinforcing the the fact that the poet was captivated by this “great black snake.”
STANZA 2
The poet now fully integrates herself with the snake. “He quested”, the snake is here linked to a knight gone on an adventure. This comparison brings up a mixed image, one of a brave soldier who would be hailed a hero and another of a violent person that kills many people and can be perceived as ruthless. From this, the audience can learn that the poet considers this powerful "black snake" as something to be feared and admired.
However, the poet is now compelled to use words like "diamond" to describe this "black snake" confirming the fact that the only feelings which Wright has to offer for the snake are feeling of admiration.
STANZA 3
Revealing the power of the snake, Wright uses "fled" to show that the snake causes fear and everyone runs away from it.
The words “fierce intent” reveal the snake as a true predator. The poet now shows that she does not feel feeling of awe and admiration anymore, but of fear. However, the author does not choose to be completely explicit and instead of saying the snake’s intent is to kill, she says “fierce intent”. This makes our image of the snake less savage, showing the audience its power, instead of depicting it as a monster.
STANZA 4
. “Cold, dark and splendid he was gone, into the grass that hid his prey” gives the audience a feeling that the snake was gone, yet they the poet is still feeling scared. Not fully relieved. The poet knows that the snake was still hiding behind the grass and that’s why she still scared of going away.
“We took a deeper breath of the day, looked at each other, and went on.” These last lines of the poem show what feeling the poet had when the snake was finally all gone and the area was once again safe emphasizing that the poet is now relieved.
Furthermore, the words "cold" and "dark" juxtapose the words used by the poet in stanza 1 making it evident to the reader that both the atmosphere and the opinion which the poet beholds for the snake have changed.
COMPARISON

Hunting Snake and Horses
In the poems “The Hunting Snake” by Judith Wright and “Horses ” by Edwin Muir, a strong relationship between man and nature is explored and expressed.
Both poets feelings towards nature in "Snakes" and "Horses" change as both poets perceive their subjects as awe-inspiring and fearful.
CONTRAST
Hunting Snake and City Planners
Both the poems "Hunting Snake" by Judith Wright and "City planners" by Margaret Atwood deal with man's relationship with nature, however the way these two persona's perceive this relationship is vastly contrasting.
Wright creates a mood in which the audience can quite easily vision man and nature co-existing together and more importantly working in harmony.
Whereas Atwood expresses her idea that man is controlling and subduing nature which is made evident to the audience with the use of words such as "pedantic" to emphasize that nature is "ordered" and is the "same."
HUNTING SNAKE
JUDITH WRIGHT
K.Gupta 5A

The poem is written in a quatrain, i.e four stanzas altogether and each stanza with four lines each. There is also a definite rhyme scheme of the poem :ABAB but the poet has changed the rhyme scheme in the last stanza making it ABBA to make the stanza different from the rest of the poem.
The meter of the poem is iambic tetrameter but there is a slight variance in this meter throughout the poem to create special effects. Also, the accurate use of caesura has made it easy for us to visualize the image.
STANZA 1
Sun-warmed in this late season’s grace
under the autumn’s gentlest sky
we walked, and froze half-through a pace.
The great black snake went reeling by.
STANZA 2
Head down, tongue flickering on the trail
he quested through the parting grass,
sun glazed his curves of diamond scale
and we lost breath to see him pass.
STANZA 3
What track he followed, what small food
fled living from his fierce intent,
we scarcely thought; still as we stood
our eyes went with him as he went.
STANZA 4
Cold, dark and splendid he was gone
into the grass that hid his prey.
We took a deeper breath of day,
looked at each other, and went on.
THE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
ESSAY QUESTIONS
Explore the ways Judith Wright shows the theme of man's relationship with nature in "Hunting Snake"
How does the poet Judith Wright make the poem "Hunting Snake" so memorable for the audience.
Some poems tell a story. Explore one poem from this selection which you feel does this, showing how you think the poet makes the story compelling.
FOR THE VISUAL LEARNERS
For The Auditory Learners
A Bit Of More Notes
Some Helpful Links
http://matthewspoetryanalysis.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/hunting-snake-judith-wright.html
http://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-theme-summary-poem-hunting-snake-by-judith-450360
http://cvina.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/judith-wright-hunting-snake/
Full transcript