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World Poetry Month: Day Eight
Today we bring to you the beautiful poem “Night Of The Scorpion” by Nissim Ezekiel who is a famous Indian poet. The poem is about the narrator’s mother being stung by a scorpion late one night and how the family reacted to it.
The poem tells of how the family was woken up in the dead of night due to screams coming from his mother. On inspection, they find her with a scorpion sting on her foot.
Despite the pain, his mother remains calm and does not complain. The family then rushes to get help from their neighbors who assist her with traditional remedies for curing scorpion stings.
The narrator reflects on the events that took place that night and how it brought them all closer together in times of adversity. He also muses on how his mother is an example of true strength, courage, and resilience in the face of adversity.
He also acknowledges the role of their neighbors in providing support during this difficult time.
In conclusion, the narrator pays tribute to his mother’s bravery and strength of character, while at the same time recognizing that they are all stronger when we stand together.
“Night Of The Scorpion” by Nissim Ezekiel
I remember the night my mother
was stung by a scorpion. Ten hours
of steady rain had driven him
to crawl beneath a sack of rice.
Parting with his poison – 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 paralyse the Evil One.
With candles and with lanterns
throwing giant scorpion shadows
on the mud-baked walls
they searched for him: he was not found.
They clicked their tongues.
With every movement that the scorpion made
his poison moved in Mother’s blood, they said.
May he sit still, they said
May the sins of your previous birth
be burned away tonight, they said.
May your suffering decrease
the misfortunes of your next birth, they said.
May the sum of all evil
balanced in this unreal world
against the sum of good
become diminished by your pain.
May the poison purify your flesh
of desire, and your spirit of ambition,
they said, and they sat around
on the floor with my mother in the centre,
the peace of understanding on each face.
More candles, more lanterns, more neighbours,
more insects, and the endless rain.
My mother twisted through and through,
groaning on a mat.
My father, sceptic, rationalist,
trying every curse and blessing,
powder, mixture, herb and hybrid.
He even poured a little paraffin
upon the bitten toe and put a match to it.
I watched the flame feeding on my mother.
I watched the holy man perform his rites to tame the poison with an incantation.
After twenty hours
it lost its sting.
My mother only said
Thank God the scorpion picked on me
And spared my children.
Best Poetry Of The Day
Welcome to the Best Poetry of the Day section! Here you will find some of the best and most inspiring poems that have been published in recent days.
We select these pieces with an eye for quality and originality, so you can be sure each one has something special to offer.
Whether it’s a powerful ballad, a lyrical love poem, or something else entirely, each selection will provide a moment of reflection and inspiration. Enjoy!