Poetic (Literary) Devices of the poem ‘How to tell Wild Animals’ are given here. The poem text and video explaining the in poem ‘How to tell Wild Animals’ in Hindi are also given.
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Poem: Hoe to tell Wild Animals
If ever you should go by chance
To jungles in the east;
And if there should to you advance
A large and tawny beast.
If he roars at you as you’re dyin’,
You’ll know it is the Asian Lion.
Or if some time when roaming round
A noble wild beast greets you,
with black stripes on a yellow ground
just notice if he eats you.
This simple rule may help you learn
The Bengal Tiger to discern.
If strolling forth, a beast you view,
Whose hide with spots is peppered,
As soon as he has leapt on you,
You’ll know it is the Leopard.
He will do no good to roar with pain,
He’ll only lep and lep again
If when you’re walking round your yard
You meet a creature there,
Who hugs you very, very hard
Be sure it is a bear.
If you have any doubt, I guess
He will give you just one more caress.
Though to distinguish beasts of prey
A novice might nonplus,
The Crocodiles you always may
Tell from the Hyenas thus;
Hyenas come with merry smiles;
But if they weep they’re Crocodiles.
The true Chameleon is small,Carolyn Wells
A lizard sort of thing;
He has not any ears at all,
And not a single wing.
If there is nothing on the tree,
Tis the Chameleon you see.
Literary Elements: How to Tell Wild Animals
The rhyme scheme of the poem is ‘ababcc’.
“If strolling forth, a beast you view. a
Whose hide with spots is peppered. b
As soon as he has lept on you. a
You’ll know it is the Leopard. b
‘Twill do no good to roar with pain. c
He’ll only lep and lep again.” c
- The poet narrates the poem in a humorous tone.
- Her descriptions of how animals like tiger, lion and leopard kill are intended to make us laugh.
- Her statement about a bear hug is also an example of humorous tone employed in the poem.
- The use of descriptive language by a poet or an author that helps the reader to visualise the pictures in one’s mind.
- example: The image of the Bengal tiger is created when we read the lines ‘A noble beast greets you, with black stripes with a yellow background.
An oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines contradictory or opposite terms to create a new phrase that expresses a paradoxical idea.
The oxymoron is used in “noble wild beast”. The word “noble” implies a sense of honour, dignity, and grace, while “wild beast” suggests an untamed, savage animal. These two terms are contradictory and create a paradoxical expression, making it an oxymoron.
The same can be found in the phrase ‘true Chameleon‘ .
This poetic device is used when a covert comparison is made between two different things or ideas.
In the poem, the metaphors have been used in an ironical way.
- roar with pain – the painful voice compared ironically with the roar of a leopard.
- A noble wild beast – Ironically leopard is shown here as a noble one
- the term ‘caress’ is used ironically for a bear’s claw attack.
- Alliteration is the repetition of the same sound that is used in the beginning of the closely placed words.
- The phrases ‘lep and lep again’, ‘roaming round’, ‘very, very hard’ and ‘novice might nonplus’ are examples of alliteration in the poem.
- Repetition is a poetic device that is used to repeat single words, phrases or even stanzas at intervals.
- He’ll only lep and lep again.
- Who hugs you very, very hard
- This poetic device is used to bestow human qualities on something that is not human.
- The poet refers to the tiger not as ‘it’ but as ‘he’.
- In the poem, the ‘hyena’ and ‘crocodile’ have been personified.
- The human qualities of ‘smiling’ and ‘weeping’ have been given to the hyena and crocodile respectively.
Irony is a poetic device that is used by the poets to bring humour or satire on somebody or something. It is done by giving two meanings to a word or a phrase, i.e., surface meaning and underlying meaning.
- A noble wild beast greets you.
- He’ll give you just one more caress.
- With the use of poetic licence, the poet not only maintains the rhyme scheme but also creates a humorous effect in the poem.
- The poet has employed poetic licence in her use of language in the poem. In some stanzas, she has shortened words like ‘lept’, ‘lep’, and ‘dyin’.
- Also, certain sentences are framed differently in the poem like ‘novice might nonplus’ and ‘if strolling forth, a beast you view’.