Presentation on theme: "‘Nettles’ by Vernon Scannell"— Presentation transcript:
1 ‘Nettles’ by Vernon Scannell LO: To explore how Scannell uses imagery and metaphor to convey his feelings about parenthood
2 Vernon Scannell This poem is about a father protecting his son. It’s about the dangers of a dark, menacing world in which nobody and nothing can be saved.Nature will attack you, be cut down, grow back and fight you again… just like the military will hunt you down and find you if you leave without consent.Scannell is protecting his son from a world he hates and fears.
3 Vernon Scannell Sees war in everything Was a dark character, 85 when he died.Lived through 2nd World War and the Cold War.Joined the army aged 18.He was addicted to desertion, leaving the army without consent twice.He was sent to a psychiatric hospital the 2nd time.He had 2 children (1 was handicapped and died as a young child, the other died in a bike crash as an adult.)
5 Oxymoron – emphasises contrast between image of stinging nettles with security of bed. PossessionEmotiveFull stop forced reader to slow downMy son aged three fell in the nettle bed. A ‘Bed’ seemed a curious name for those green spears, B That regiment of spite behind the shed: It was no place for rest. With sobs and tearsMetaphor – bayonets linked to military/ violencepersonifies – like a battalion of soldiersInverted commas suggest contemplation.
6 Sibilance linked to emphasise the soothing of his injured son 2nd quatrain – language more tender and protectiveAlliteration emphasises small blistersShows he’s vulnerableThe boy came seeking comfort and I saw A White blisters beaded on his tender skin. B We soothed him till his pain was not so raw. A At last he offered us a watery grin, BDark, violent imageProtective imagesOxymoronic image – merging laughter of comfort with relief of pain. Reflects changing moods of childrenFather anxious for his son to no longer feel pain
7 3rd quatrain – language changes to being very regimented And then I took my billhook, honed the blade A And went outside and slashed in fury with it B Till not a nettle in that fierce parade A Stood upright any more. And then I lit BMilitary referencesPersonification helps to portray military images used when destroying nettlesAnger towards nettles / feeling that he is chopping away at bad memories of the past.
8 4th quatrain offers clue to his resentment towards military Metaphor burning the wounded/ dead. Ultimate end reinforced by sounds of consonanceLost at warA funeral pyre to burn the fallen dead, A But in two weeks the busy sun and rain B Had called up tall recruits behind the shed: A My son would often feel sharp wounds again. BNatural forcesSurreptitious/ furtiveLast line = negative image. Maybe about loss ofhis son or about pointlessness of trying to protectyour children.New recruits to replace those who have diedLinks back to the beginning/ emotive/ possessiveClue to deep rooted hatred towards the military
9 Metaphors linked to military references My son aged three fell in the nettle bed. ‘Bed’ seemed a curious name for those green spears, That regiment of spite behind the shed: It was no place for rest. With sobs and tears The boy came seeking comfort and I saw White blisters beaded on his tender skin. We soothed him till his pain was not so raw. At last he offered us a watery grin, And then I took by billhook, honed the blade And went outside and slashed in fury with it Till not a nettle in that fierce parade Stood upright any more. And then I lit A funeral pyre to burn the fallen dead But in two weeks the busy sun and rain Had called up tall recruits behind the shed: My son would often feel sharp wounds again.Metaphors linked to military references
10 Theme: war/ violence/ danger (in nature and the everyday world) LanguageStructureMetaphors are linked to the military/ war/ painful images.Anger – there’s danger in all things. Negative poem. Physical hurts trigger memories of mental scarsProtective – natural rhyme in poem reflects a nursery rhyme sung to comfort a child.Simple ABAB rhyme schemeIambic pentameter4 quatrainsSimple melodic rhyme scheme reinforcing sense of nursery rhyme for child.
11 Compare to: another poem that shows anger and strength of those feelings
12 Nettles Vernon Scannell How does Scannell use imagery and metaphor to convey his feelings about parenthood? In your answer explain why Scannell has chosen to use military images to explore ideas about parenthood in this poem.