What Casts Sensory and Visual effects in the poem “Snake?”


Which literary devices create sensory and visual effects on readers in the poem, Snake?



Alliteration, onomatopoeia and sibilance in this poem create sensory and visual effect on readers. For instance, in the line, “And trailed his yellow- brown slackness, soft-bellied down,” the poet gives us onomatopoeic effect in words like “trailed,” “slackness,” and “soft-bellied down.” We hear almost both the movement and sound of snake in this line.

Equally in another line, “And flickered his two- forked tongue,” we see sibilance through /f/ sound and also onomatopoeic effect appears in “flickered’, which lends sensory movement and visual effect to the snake. Sibilance by using sound /s/ conveys feature of snake in this line,

Softly drank through his straight

gum, into this slack long body


In doing so, Lawrence has successfully brought an image of snake to readers through shape, movement and sound.