“This is poem that has been composed by Kevin Halligan. The poem ‘The Cockroach’ is a sonnet written by Kevin Halligan. It is written in the iambic pentameter as there are ten syllables in each line and as it mostly follows the pattern of the syllables being unstressed and then stressed. For example the line “I (unstressed) watched (stressed) a (unstressed) giant (stressed-unstressed) cockroach (stressed-unstressed) start (stressed) to (unstressed) pace (stressed). The poem includes a few literary devices like personification as he gives the cockroach human conditions throughout the poem, a smile and a metaphor.
The poem starts with the poet getting monopolized by the cockroach” “When the poet’s eyes fell upon the restless cockroach, it reminded him of himself. Sometimes, just like the cockroach, he tried to avoid things whether it was a person or trouble. The poet was restless as well. The poet felt that he resembled the cockroach when the cockroach had climbed up onto the shelf and was uncertain about where he wanted to go as though he was having a private conflict in his mind of which path he shall chose.
Life is a journey of twists and turns and the poet has witnessed this at some point in his life.
Therefore he identifies with the cockroach. Throughout the poem, the poet uses an extended metaphor to describe the human conditions. ” “The poet is watching the cockroach as if it is a human being not an insect in an objective view. This foreshadows the twist at the end which is that the poet is the subject of the poem.
The poet can even sense how it feels and thinks; ‘he seemed quite satisfied’ ‘he looked uncertain where to go’. These illustrate that the cockroach begins to feel distracted and confused suggesting that the persona involves his thoughts to it.
Therefore this, in turn, involves the readers in the poem furthermore. The cockroach is an extended metaphor of the persona and human being. The cockroach moves through ‘a path between the wainscot and the door’ which symbolizes a steady path that people follow early in life. But, ‘soon he turned to jog in crooked rings’ suggests human being’s confusion in later life reinforcing a sense of confusion. ” “The poet describes a frantic movement of the cockroach throughout the poem. The title foreshadows and reveals that the poem is about a small and trifle insect- a cockroach.
However, the poem opens with the exaggeration of it ‘a giant cockroach’. This highlights that he is observing it very closely feeling as if it is a ‘giant’. The word ‘giant’ also conveys that it is not only an insect but also a device to reflect on life giving it great importance with the repetition of word ‘cockroach’ in the title and first line. The movement of the cockroach is closely described. The detailed description draws an image of the cockroach in the readers’ minds and this allows them to engage in the poem.
It ‘pace’ ‘skirting’ ‘jog’ ‘circle’ ‘flip’ ‘climb’ signifying that the persona is watching the cockroach as if it is a human being not a trifle insect in an objective view. This foreshadows the twist at the end which is that the poet is the subject of the poem. The persona can even sense how it feels and thinks; ‘he seemed quite satisfied’ ‘he looked uncertain where to go’. These illustrate that the cockroach begins to feel distracted and confused suggesting that the persona involves his thoughts to it. Therefore this, in turn, involves the readers in the poem furthermore. ”