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The Poems Vultures and Night of the Scorpion Exploring the Ways the Poets Use Imagery

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I find the description and use of imagery much more exciting when I read Night of the Scorpion rather than Vultures. Some of you might be thinking that Vultures has more description, but throughout the whole poem it doesn’t get interesting or make you want to read on, unlike in Night of the Scorpion it is much more exciting. For example:

“Ten hours of steady rain had driven him to crawl beneath a sack of rice.” Automatically you want to know what is going on, this is because humans are usually afraid of scorpions, they are poisonous and quite scary, but the poet uses the word “driven” as if it was the scorpion’s last resort to safety and survival and you can tell that the poet feels sorry or sympathy for the scorpion, and this makes you wonder why, why does the poet feel sympathy for the scorpion, it’s not his friend or his pet it will soon be his worst enemy.

“Flash of diabolic tail in the dark room he risked the rain again. The peasants came like swarms of flies and buzzed the name of God a hundred times to paralyze the evil one.” Flash now that means that the scorpion has stung the mother to protect himself. The poor scorpion then tries to flee risking the rain again, now that is something that will get your heart pumping unlike reading about two vultures that act like harsh savage animals, eating the insides of another dead animal and then end up cuddling and loving each other that just doesn’t get your heart pumping or make you wonder what is going to happen next, that makes me wonder when it is going to end. When the author of Night of the Scorpion sais that the peasants came like swarms of flies and buzzed the name of God a hundred times this just emphasises that the neighbours are trying to help, but are just getting annoying and crowding around the small mud-baked wall house trying to see what was going on.

Do you get the point that I am trying to make, anyways as you read on you begin to realise what a religious and spiritual village it really is, “May he sit still, they said. May the sins of your previous birth be burned away tonight, they said.” The one thing I don’t understand is that when they say may the sins of your previous birth be burned away tonight they are directing it to the mother that has been stung by the poor scorpion. They try to use prayers to destroy the disease or infection inside the mother, which obviously doesn’t work, but they believe that it spiritually or magically does.

There was one interesting point that I picked up from Vulture throughout the whole poem the vultures are described in the past tense, but when they are describing the Belsen Commandment it is in the present tense, by doing this they portray the image that evil is around us at all times.


Overall I thought that the poets used imagery very well, but in Night of the Scorpion it was a much better poem to read and I enjoyed it much more than Vultures.

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