"Night of the Scorpion"
This poem documents the time when the poet's mother was stung by a scorpion. It highlights the cultural differences of the 'peasants' and their religious beliefs and the rationalist nature of the poet.
This is a narrative poem so it is describing events. It is split into two stanzas:
1) Longer and follows the actions of the peasants whilst the mother is in pain
2) The mother's reaction to her sting (only a few lines long)
The Use of Imagery
"peasants came like swarms of flies"
- "swarm" = common-minded group, perhaps incapable of thinking for themselves (athiest's opinion)
- the peasants descended upon the house just like unwelcome pests
"the Evil One"
- emphasises the pain caused by the scorpion
- draws link between the pain and how the peasants think its origin lies in the mother's prior sin
- attributing the scorpion to the devil - may be seen as an overreaction --> the narrator may be using exaggeration to mock the peasants
- "diabolic tail" --> further emphasises the link between the pain and religion as this attributes the body part of the scorpion which inflicted the pain to the devil
- the personification villifies the scorpion as it suggests that it took deliberate action against the mother
"throwing giant scorpion shadows"
- indicative of the opinion the author…