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Nettles Analysis



Author: poem of Vernon Scannell Type: poem Views: 22


My son aged three fell in the nettle bed.
'Bed' seemed a curious name for those green spears,
That regiment of spite behind the shed:
It was no place for rest.  With sobs and tears
The boy came seeking comfort and I saw
White blisters beaded on his tender skin.
We soothed him till his pain was not so raw.
At last he offered us a watery grin,
And then I took my billhook, honed the blade
And went outside and slashed in fury with it
Till not a nettle in that fierce parade
Stood upright any more.  And then I lit
A funeral pyre to burn the fallen dead,
But in two weeks the busy sun and rain
Had called up tall recruits behind the shed:
My son would often feel sharp wounds again.


Submitted by Andrew Mayers

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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||




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“Nettles” by poet Vernon Scannell is a reflective poem based on the poet trying to protect his son from hurting himself in a nettle bed. I found this poem very emotional and touching and this is mainly why I chose to write about it. The poet reflects on his own experience to prove his point of view, and he achieves this, and I indent to analyse what point he is trying to convey in this poem.
The poem is set in the poet’s own garden, with the nettles hidden out of sight behind the shed. The young child (the poet’s son) falls into the nettle bed, which causes him to cry as it hurt him. This poem is extremely effective as it means a lot more than just a boy falling into nettles. The message that the poet has expressed in this poem is that parents can’t always protect there children no mater how hard they try.
Also, it is very emotional, about the father’s feelings for his son, which makes the poem very dramatical and more effective.
The use of imagery in the poem effectively helps the poet get his message across. The poet uses different techniques to make the poem more interesting and seem more realistic. This helps us imagine the scene clearly and creates an atmosphere.
“That regiment of spite behind the shed. It was no place for rest”The strong word “spite” emphasises how much malicious the nettles are, that they have a strong desire to hurt someone, in this case the young boy. Saying a “regiment of spite” links to battle, and the fact these nettles want to cause harm and pain, they are linked to war, as though they are soldiers.

| Posted on 2014-02-24 | by a guest


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This is a poem by Vernon Scannell simply explores the hardships of life through a father and son relationship. This poem explores a fathers protection for his beloved son in order to keep him safe from these evil nettles. A lot of his anger and frustration towards the nettles is somewhat personified as the nettles being soldiers ,this referring them as 'recruits' and ' that regiment of spite'.
It could also symbolise his life as a young man as Scannell was a member of the army however he did not particularly enjoy being a part of it. His hardship and pain expressed in the war and what he witnessed could be the reason for him to display this bitterness throughout the poem and his sons pain form the nettle beds. This personification present in the poem could suggest that he faced a lot of sad times in his life. This poem is a very sad and violent shadow of Vernon Scannell's life.
I am currently studying this in English and as soon as I read it I found it very interesting and easy to interpret and understand.

| Posted on 2013-12-16 | by a guest


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Nettles by Vernon Scannell is about the incapability of parents to protect their childs from all danger in the world. As hard as parents try and fight back against the dangers of the world that bring a threat to the best offering to parents, they can\'t always be there for every fall and cry.
Scannell, in this poem, paints a narrative where his son falls into a pile of pointy nettles and he and presumably his partner take care of their son to remove the burning and pain of these nettles. After that the author goes back behind to the shed where the bed of nettles grows and cuts them down prior to burning them. Within a short time, these nettles grow back and it is concluded that, My son would often feel sharp wounds again.

| Posted on 2013-04-29 | by a guest


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i think he has compared nettles to a fierce parade because of hes experience.

| Posted on 2013-03-07 | by a guest


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i think he has compared nettles to a fierce parade because of hes experience.

| Posted on 2013-03-07 | by a guest


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the meaning of the poem is that parents will always try their hardest to look after their child and if they are hurt parents get angry and look after their child but somtimes parents can not stop danger from coming to their child because it is a part of life.

| Posted on 2013-03-02 | by a guest


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for those doing this at gcse the use of the soft hard syllable pattern and the use of 10 syllables per line means every line ends on a hard masculine syllable which reflects the war references and the father son references.

| Posted on 2013-02-24 | by a guest


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vernon scannell was bitter towards the military because of his own experience.

| Posted on 2013-02-22 | by a guest


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i think this is a great poem on which you could understand the feelings of how a father would feel for his inflicted child, also the feelings init make it easier to write an analysis on.

| Posted on 2013-01-24 | by a guest


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I LIKE POEM. ME IS FATHR ALSO . NETTLES ARE SILLY WILLIES

| Posted on 2013-01-21 | by a guest


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i think so that poem is very nice and this poem shows relationship between father and son.the father wait until his son has stopped crying before the father is attack the nettles.the father wants his son to be brave and strong.when the father attacks the nettles he is think about how will he do with the pain has grow again and the father can't protect his all the time.

| Posted on 2012-12-17 | by a guest


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This poem is an extended metaphor for life and how nettles symbolise a fathers protection for his son from any problem, shows the love between the family and his father destroying the nettles so thast his son would no longer be in danger of feeling any pain.
it is the father who is speaking the poem as we read through the poem we realise this,
\'my son aged three\',
we learn that this is to do with either mother or father as it is not specific at first but when we read on wer learn that the violence could be related to war which men are mostly involved in.
Later on in the poem after we know the parent had destroyed the nettles by cutting them down into tiny pieces we learn that he wants to make sure that they have suffered for what they have done to his son,
\'a funeral pyre to burn the fallen dead\',
this seems a little too dramatic at first as we think that he is talking about a funeral for plants and that he is relating these plants to people which seem very dramatic at first but through this we realise how passionate and protective this parent is about their son so he/she would do absolutely anything for them, this then seems less dramatic when thought through fully. the structure is a sixteen line stanza.

| Posted on 2012-11-20 | by a guest


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i have to do this poem for my gcse i find it loverly and shows a farthers dedication for his son and how relationships change by age the farther not been able to help his son in his later life. i find all your coment so helpfull in my understanding x

| Posted on 2012-11-07 | by a guest


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1. Using the words That regiment of spite behind the shed the poet puts across the points that the nettles are fierce, evil monsters that are taking over behind the shed. The poet adding the personification- regiment of spite- is a good effect because it gives the reader an image to place in their mind which makes the poem easier to understand whats happening in the poem even though the image is slightly exaggerated.
Also the phrase And went outside and slashed with fury with it Till not a nettle in that fierce parade adds effect to the poem because Vernon Scannell has used enjambment and personification which makes the poem well written, easy to follow and easy to understand. The personification is an army fighting.

| Posted on 2012-10-13 | by a guest


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This poem is an extended metaphor for life and how nettles symbolize a father protecting his son from problems (the nettles in this case) and his father destroying the nettles is him stomping out the problems to help his so through the difficult time. The end line \'My son would often feel sharp wounds again\' shows that his son will find problems in the future that he cannot help him through and he will have to find his own way to sort his problems out.
The theme of war which is also shown through the metaphors \'Green spears\' and \'regiment of spite\' and fierce parade\'. These all personify the nettles as an army or enemy\'s.
This is just to help me get this into my brain for my GCSE\'s. :P

| Posted on 2012-09-13 | by a guest


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i wanna kill my self i dont understand this bloody poem!

| Posted on 2012-06-01 | by a guest


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i think this poem is very straight forward and is not hard to undersand you lot are potas. so i suggest you listen in your english lessons and take education seriously. adolocents these days smh

| Posted on 2012-06-01 | by a guest


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Please help me! I don\'t understand the link between this poem and war.

| Posted on 2012-04-15 | by a guest


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The poems structure is a sixteen line stanza; two more lines than a sonnet. He could have done this to show his rejection of a formal structure and ultimately his rejection of the military. Scannell lived and fought in the Second World War and did not only detest war, but it scarred him for life. During the war, he deserted the army twice and this dismissal of the use of a typical fourteen line sonnet reflects his disregard towards the army (a formal organisation).

| Posted on 2012-04-15 | by a guest


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this poem is useless, it shows little love the father feels for his son other then the fact that he cut down the nettles. the extended metaphor used adds the poets experience to war. how it is effective as it makes the nettles seem as a \"fierce parade\" rather than just plants.
i dislike this poem...but I have to do it for my GCSE ugh!

| Posted on 2012-04-09 | by a guest


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I think the poem is about a mans fear of nettles, all mens fear of nettles. there can be no greater fear than being stung by a deadly nettle. The nettles in this poem have been transformed into an invading army which wish to slay his son and almost succeed.

| Posted on 2012-04-03 | by a guest


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this poem is about the love a father has for his son and the things he would do to protect him. the words fury and slashed suggest and reflect the anger witin the father.
Also the last line \'feel sharp wound again\' suggest the terror and dangers of the world , not just nature, but also what humans are capable of doing nowadays too.

| Posted on 2012-03-22 | by a guest


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i feel that this poem is very inspiring the way his father save the child from the nettle, and then he goes to chop the nettles down but two weeks later they all grow back. the moral of this poem is saying you cant protect your children from everything as problems keep re-occuring (in this case the nettles growin back) in life.

| Posted on 2012-03-14 | by a guest


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His life has impacted his piece of Nettles. He employs a semantic field of war and the army possibly because he joined the army at the age of 18. The poem is very emotional and dramatic due to the fact scannell had six children, which of three tragiclly died.

| Posted on 2012-01-19 | by a guest


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In Nettles writen by the poet Vernon Scannell we see that his son has fallen in the nettle bed behind the shed and goes to his father for comfort who soothes him. Afterwards Scannell goes to the garden and burns the nettles down. But in within two weeks they have grown up again.
At the beginning of the poem we see the relation that the father and son share. The boy is firstly mentioned as My Son, This quote show us that he belongs to his father, but it is also an affectionate term. This suggests that his son is very dear to him, means a lots and the father will do anything to protect his son. It also shows ownership.
Scannell doubts and questions himself in line two when he discusses what is meant by teh term Bed. This wording sounds like it is soft adn cosy as you rest here but, this is not the case for the nettle. Scannell then changes his mind and describes them as green spears another refeance to war weapons. The term bed means safeltyy and comfort therej si no danger in a bed. Teh ides that something which protaryed to be safe is dangerous allow us th think about it;s relationship with war. It could mean life and death because you are more than likely born on a bed and die on a bed too.

| Posted on 2011-12-13 | by a guest


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Nettles by Vernon Scannell goes much deeper than the overall concept of it being nettles that ails his boy or sun. That is a falsehood, a shroud on the poet\'s initial intentions, which could be interpreted to be consistently about war. You can see foremost in the poem that there is repetitive mention of military aspects as shown with the words \'spears\', \'regiment\', \'parade\' etc. This shows how he is linking his sons pain with war, how war might ail someone? Or even a country.
The boy is firstly mentioned as \'my son\', this shows that he belongs to his father, it is a known fact. It is also an affectionate term, with this you can see that the son is very dear to him, means a lot to him and he will be protected. Secondly the man\'s son is mentioned as \'the boy\', this could be anyone, any son or boy not specifically his. This change in term could signify that the one soothed was another parents son. Lastly he is again referred to as \'my son\' this again shows the ownership. The idea of it being another son could engage the reader to explore the idea of it being their son and what would they do in that situation, how could they protect their son from nettles, or delving deeper from war.
The poet\'s first question was why did we call it a bed? A bed is symbolised to mean safety and comfort, there is no danger in a bed, it means rest. The idea that something which is portrayed to be safe is dangerous add layers of interpretation to the poem, now it could mean that why send our soldiers to fight unsafe battles? Why allow this boys to get hurt. The poet is not talking about men, he is talking about an inexperienced, young and youthful boy. Scannell is addressing why we pack up our soldiers when they are not old enough to cope.
That\'s a brief and short analysis outlining a few of the main points that jump out of the poem, I hope it helps.

| Posted on 2011-12-05 | by a guest


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I think the poem has a simplistic meaning where the father talks about his son falling into nettles, and he was there that time to protect him and give him comfort. He doesnt want his son to be hurt again so he cuts down the nettles, only to fully well know they will grow again and he needs to learn that his son will get hurt many times with him not by his side.
ALso it has a hidden symbolic meaning of WAR. It can be interpreted that the son is injured in war and is sent home because of his injury, but is then sent back again to fight for war, and the father knows he will most likely feel his injury\'s again or recieve more injuries. Or it could be interpreted that the father is in the war trying to protect the world and most importantly his family. He knows it\'s neverending and he cant protect his family at all times.

| Posted on 2011-10-30 | by a guest


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This is a poem of true beauty, the toil and love this man, this father will go through to protect whats most important, his son. Using the words regiment, spears, blade, slashed, fierce parade, and sharp wounds makes you think of the horrors of war, which in my opinion is what this poem is trying to portray,suddenly he can not protect his son \"My son would often feel sharp wounds again\". The poet Scannell uses powerful and cutting words, \"slash\",\"fierce\", \"fury\" and \"sharp\" all of these allow you too feel the pain and anguish that this father is feeling, the possibility of loosing his dear dear son. This father wants to hurt anything that hurts his boy \"slashed in fury with it\". Loving and endearing phrases are also used \"tender\", and \"comfort\" .

| Posted on 2011-10-23 | by a guest


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This poem is about the poet\'s son falling into a bed of nettles. The poet is explaining his emotions about how he couldnt protect his son this time. But then he says that it wont be the last time that he can not protect him , such as when his son goes off to school and later in life univercity, his dad wont be ther all the time to protect him is he ? Would you want your dad to be like that ?
There a many hidden messages which are cleverly put in about the WAR such as: Spear, Spite , Regiment.

| Posted on 2011-10-09 | by a guest


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I personally thibk that this guy has had a rough life but we shoudnt hold it against him...he\'s a great writer.
good luck :D

| Posted on 2011-09-15 | by a guest


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The Vernon capsto evokes emotions far left through the foundsprings of life itself. Father is comparable to the father above encaptulating a christ-like, almost universal empathic icon.
btw i am a literate and anthology PHD so if you have any questions regarding poems please do not hesitate to ask me.
Hope this helps,
Dr Whiskin, From Madagascar

| Posted on 2011-07-08 | by a guest


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i think that this poem is really about the father and the bond that he shares with his son. the father dosent like to see the boy in pain so he goes out to try to stop it happening again only to know so well that he can protect his son from the neetles but can not protect always protect him in life (emotionally). vernon describes the neetles as being out to get the little boy and that nature is coming together to get his son just to test him and annoy him. evn though the father cut down the neetles they will grow back . great poem love it :)

| Posted on 2011-06-02 | by a guest


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This peom is an inspiring poem that has many hidden messgages and literary devices. Nettles is a metaphor for bloodshed, soldiers and war. The father would do anything to protect his son from this tragedy we call war. I believe this poem uses emotive language effectively to create a dramatical atmosphere. The father goes of to war (when he goes out and cuts the nettles which symbolises soldiers )to protect not only himself but for his family to only realise that hecan not protect and sheild his son forever. Vernon is trying to tell YOU the readers that there is no need for war because it not only affects the soldiers families but also the people surrounded by it.
That is my opinion and thanks for reading
I have an assessment for it and im onli iin yr 9 =)

| Posted on 2011-05-24 | by a guest


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i have an assessment on this poem tommmorow and i hope i do goog. i think that the poem may have more than one meaning, but it shows a father protecting his son from the dangers of the worl

| Posted on 2011-05-19 | by a guest


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I think it is a beautiful poem about how a father tries to protect his son from all the horrors of the world, but at the end of the poem it shows that he cannot protect him forever.
Also Vernon Scannell fought in the great war and survived so this may be the reason for the use of war language such as \"Recruits\".

| Posted on 2011-05-03 | by a guest


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Thnak you thats excellent exactly what i was looking for. You have a excellent writing talent.

| Posted on 2011-05-02 | by a guest


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Nettles.
Nettles is a poem written by Vernon Scannell it is set in a garden. A father is narrating the poem in a dramatic form. The poem is about a young boy who falls in a bed of nettles and the poet try’s to get across humans ongoing battle against nature through the boy and his father.
Scannell personifies the nettles very well by describing them as a regiment of spite, and I think this is an excellence description as it portrays the nettles as living soldiers in a war against humans.
The writer uses brilliant emotive language to describe human’s battle with nature. In this poem humans win the battle but Scannell knows the war isn’t over by showing at the end of the poem the nettles growing back thanks to help for the sun and rain, as if nature is joining together to continue its battle against humans.
This poem can be cross referenced ‘The five students’ by Thomas Hardy which shows the different seasons of the year slowly taking away lives. This poem as well has great imagery of nature versus humans.

| Posted on 2011-05-02 | by a guest


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I am doing this for my GCSE English this year so anybody want to give me a GOOD analysis of this poem ?

| Posted on 2011-05-02 | by a guest


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i think so that poem is very nice and this poem shows relationship between father and son.the father wait until his son has stopped crying before the father is attack the nettles.the father wants his son to be brave and strong.when the father attacks the nettles he is think about how will he do with the pain has grow again and the father can\'t protect his all the time.

| Posted on 2011-01-27 | by a guest


.: :.

i think so that poem is very nice and this poem shows relationship between father and son.the father wait until his son has stopped crying before the father is attack the nettles.the father wants his son to be brave and strong.when the father attacks the nettles he is think about how will he do with the pain has grow again and the father can\'t protect his all the time.

| Posted on 2011-01-27 | by a guest




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