God, The Serpent, By Virginia Hamilton Adair

1086 Words Sep 17th, 2016 5 Pages
“God to the Serpent”, as the title indicates, is a poem written as if by God speaking to the Serpent. If, for example, the Biblical story of Adam and Eve jumps to your mind, you’re thinking along the right lines. But “God to the Serpent” takes this story and effectively flips it on its head. Instead of cursing the Serpent, as one might expect, God praises the Serpent, and instead shows profound annoyance with humans. It is not a serious poem, but just maybe from this poem, Virginia Hamilton Adair can teach us a little bit of humility.

The speaker of the poem takes great lengths to praise snakes for their brilliant design. Every single aspect of a snake is praised in this poem. Whether it is physical attributes, for instance “Boa Constrictor’s single strength” (l. 12), or mental attributes, such as when she refers to the snake being “wise and deft” (l. 18), the vast majority of the poem is spent praising some attribute of the snake or another. This constant praise never lets the reader forget that the snake is something special. This sense that the snake is a special creature, somehow above others is emphasized by the rhyme scheme, as well as the generally formal vocabulary of the poem. The rhyme scheme never changes structure from stanza to stanza. This kind of structure makes the poem feel much more proper. Adding to this is the poem’s ornate vocabulary, using words like “superfluous” and phrases like “prideful piece”. All of this combines to make the praise and respect…
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