Monday, 22 May 2023

How to Tell Wild Animals

How to Tell Wild Animals

                                          By Carolyn Wells

Analysis :

·         ‘How to Tell Wild Animals’ is a humorous poem composed by Carolyn Wells, an American poet.

·        The poem is humorous in tone and lyrical in form. It is humorous but it suggests some dangerous ways to identify wild animals like Asian lion, Bengal tiger, leopard, bear, hynna, chameleon and crocodile.

·        Clever use of vocabulary makes it an interesting poem.

·        The poem is composed in 6 stanzas of six lines each rhyming ababcc. Lot of poetic repetition, alliteration and beautiful use of sound poetic devices make it a musical, rhythmic and lyrical in nature.

·        The poem conveys in a very light hearted manner the essential characteristics and physical features of animals.

Synopsis :

·        The poem talks about the dangerous ways to identify wild animals humorously. The poet describes wild animals such as Asian lion, Bengal tiger, leopard, bear, crocodile, hyena, and chameleon with their physical features, sounds and other distinct characteristics  to distinguish one animal from the other.

·        The poem is, though very educative and informative, it is a humorous, witty and interesting. The poet suggests some dangerous ways of identifying wild animals creating awe and humour.

·        The poem tells if someone ever visits the forests and happen to encounter Asian Lion, Bengal tiger or a leopard, he/she’ll be able to identify them by the way they attack upon you, but unfortunately by that time the person will be eaten by the animal and be dead. This idea of identifying while dying’ is humorous and adventurous.

·        The poem also describes a bear that can be identified with its friendly but suffocating bear-hug. A hyena is distinct due to its betraying laugh and a crocodile is known for its fake tears while swallowing its victim. 

Poetic Devices :

   A large and tawny beast,  - Imagery

If he roars at you as you’re dyin’  - Humour, Onomatopoeia

You’ll know it is the Asian Lion... Assonance  

With black stripes on a yellow ground,  - Imagery

Just notice if he eats you.  -  Humour

Whose hide with spots is peppered,  - Imagery

As soon as he has lept on you,  - Repetition, Poetic license

’Twill do no good to roar with pain,  - Humour, Assonance, Onomatpoeia

He’ll only lep and lep again - Humour, Poetic license, Repetition

If when you’re walking round your yard  - Consonance

Who hugs you very, very hard,  - Oxymoron, Repetition, Humour

Be sure it is a Bear.  - Alliteration, Assonance

He’ll give you just one more caress. - Humour

A novice might nonplus,  - Poetic license

Hyenas come with merry smiles;  - Irony, humour

But if they weep they’re Crocodiles - Repetition, Irony, humour

A lizard sort of thing;  - Imagery, metaphor

He hasn’t any ears at all,  - Alliteration, Imagery

And not a single wing.  - Assonance, Imagery

If there is nothing on the tree,  - Assonance

’Tis the chameleon you see. - Irony, humour


As soon as he has lept on you,

You’ll know it is the Leopard.

’Twill do no good to roar with pain,

He’ll only lep and lep again

Qa. Do you think the words ‘lept’ and ‘lep’  are spelt correctly? Why does the poet spell them like this?

Ans. No, the words lept and lep are not spelled. the correct spellings are 'leapt' and 'leap'. these words are misspelt to create musical effect and produce sound like leopard.

Qb. Tell the prevailing poetic device used in these four lines.

And. Humour and poetic repetition

Qc. Who will roar in pain? Why?

Ans. The one who encounters a leopard will roar in pain as the leopard will eat him/her. 

Qd. Why does the poet describe the animal?

Ans. The poet describes the animals for the readers' information but adding a pinch of humour also describes the condition of the person who happenes to meet the animal in the forest unfortunately though.

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