Green Snake

Green Snake : Early morning, the day before yesterday,

under a slab of stone,

in a crack,

eyes glittering,

forked tongue licking and flashing,

a frog swelling his belly,

he lay there quietly:

a baby snake, two hands long,

a green snake.

“Poor thing. It’s a green snake. Still a baby.

What harm can it do?" I said.

My father replied,

“A snake’s a snake."

And mother,

“That’s where everyone walks.

We don’t need trouble. Kill it."

“I can’t," I said.

Father struck him with a piece of firewood,

chased him outside,

and killed him flat.


Translated by A.K. Ramanujan

The word POETRY originates from a Greek word meaning TO MAKE. A poet is thus a maker and the poem something that is made or created. No single definition of poetry is possible but some characteristic features of poetry may be mentioned. Poetry has a musical quality with rhythm, pitch, metre and it may use figures of speech such as simile and metaphor. While quite a few poems in this selection are in traditional forms, the unit also includes modern poems that are free from formal restrictions.

Here is a list of English Poems written by various authors. Whatever the question is, poetry may be the answer. Writers say poetry provides them with comfort, a way to express themselves and the discipline of finding the essence with few words. Writing the poem (and finding just the right word) is the measure of success that the authors use. Really good poetry is instinctive. It’s who you are. It’s from the heart. You need to expose yourself to all kinds of poets and you may find your motivation and muse that way. Poetry gets to the core meaning. Poetry expands ideas.

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