Words of Wisdom:

"You can either argue with me, or accept the fact that you're wrong." - Sumnima


  • Date Submitted: 12/16/2012 08:20 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 67.1 
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Explore how Scannell Conveys his Feelings
about Parenthood in ‘Nettles’
The poem I have chosen to explore is called ‘Nettles’ by Vernon Scannell.   In this poem Scannell talks about an accident his son had when he was younger to do with a bed of nettles behind their shed.
The poem also shows the love a father has for his son and the things he would do to protect him. Scanning through the poem you will see that there are several references to conflict, war and the military, such as 'spears', 'regiment' and recruits' as well as many references to wounds and violence. He uses war as a metaphor throughout the poem It is written from the point of view of a parent and Scannell is the parent whose son had got hurt. He recalls the incident to the reader like a story almost like he’s reliving that moment.
The first line starts off with 'my son', this shows that he belongs to his father, it is a known fact. It is also an affectionate term, with this you can see that the son is very dear to him, means a lot to him and he will be protected. The message that Scannell has expressed in this poem is that parents can’t always protect their children no matter how hard they try. The group of nettles behind the shed is described as
‘...the nettle bed’
Scannell doubts and questions himself in line two when he says what is meant by the term “Bed”. This wording sounds like it is soft and cosy as you rest here but, this is not the case for the nettles. The term ‘bed’ means safety and comfort there is no danger in a bed, Scannell then changes his mind and describes them as
‘…those green spears’
He describes them as spears which are used as war weapons. This is a metaphor linking the nettles to an army full of hatred
‘That regiment of spite’
It is disturbing because it suggests that they work as a group together.The child turns straight to his parents for comfort, in his parent’s eyes they see him as a vulnerable little boy. The father feels angry that his own son has got...


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