To the Snake by Denise Leverto

1157 Words5 Pages
In the poem “To the Snake” the author Denise Levertov use several writing techniques to portray money and gambling. She uses syntax, sound imagery, color imagery, figurative language, and symbolism to represent money and gambling. Symbolism is used cleverly throughout the poem to depict a number of things that would take numerous readings to see. Throughout the poem the sentences are structured so that every other sentence is indented, with exception to the first two and the last four. In those sentences not indented the author chose to make every other sentence shorter so that the ends were uneven. This syntax structure gives the reader the feeling of something hard to catch or control. The author did this because money,…show more content…
The last bit of symbolism comes in the last part of the poem where it says, “…as the leaves moved and you faded into the pattern of grass and shadows, and I returned smiling and haunted, to a dark morning.” The leaves moving are symbolic of time passing. As the seasons change the leaves always go through some kind of change which is why the leader is led to believe that the leaves represent some portion of time, which could be great or small. The word fading says to the reader that the money the speaker has gained in gambling is now all gone. The idea that it faded into the pattern of grass and shadows makes the reader think that the speaker is going to gamble again and start the cycle over. First lets look at the grass. Grass when cut grows back every time, under normal conditions. This applied to the gambler means that each time the money gets short the speaker is going to gamble again to get more money or make their cash supply grow just like grass. The same principle applies with shadows. The sun comes up and the shadows began to form. As the sun goes down the shadows leave. This constant growing and decreasing cycle can once again be applied to the speaker either losing or all their money and then regaining it by gambling. The part, which discusses how the speaker returns smiling and haunted, refers to the speaker facing his/her friends. The speaker

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