Poem: Summary of BAT by David. H. Lawrence And Past Questions; This poem is necessary for students who are sitting for the following examinations and should be studied so as to stand a chance of passing the exams. JAMB, WAEC, NECO, GCE.
At evening, sitting on this terrace,
When the sun from the west, beyond Pisa, beyond the mountains of Carrara
Departs, and the world is taken by surprise …
When the tired flower of Florence is in gloom beneath the glowing
Brown hills surrounding …
When under the arches of the Ponte Vecchio
A green light enters against stream, flush from the west,
Against the current of obscure Arno …
Look up, and you see things flying
Between the day and the night;
Swallows with spools of dark thread sewing the shadows together.
A circle swoop, and a quick parabola under the bridge arches
Where light pushes through;
A sudden turning upon itself of a thing in the air.
A dip to the water.
And you think:
“The swallows are flying so late!”
Dark air-life looping
Yet missing the pure loop …
A twitch, a twitter, an elastic shudder in flight
And serrated wings against the sky,
Like a glove, a black glove thrown up at the light,
And falling back.
The swallows are gone.
At a wavering instant the swallows gave way to bats
By the Ponte Vecchio …
Bats, and an uneasy creeping in one’s scalp
As the bats swoop overhead!
Black piper on an infinitesimal pipe.
Little lumps that fly in air and have voices indefinite, wildly vindictive;
Wings like bits of umbrella.
Creatures that hang themselves up like an old rag, to sleep;
And disgustingly upside down.
Hanging upside down like rows of disgusting old rags
And grinning in their sleep.
Not for me!
— D. H. Lawrence
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THEMES (Poem: Summary of BAT by David. H. Lawrence And Past Questions)
Beauty in nature: One topic that penetrates DH Lawrence’s poem “Bat,” which illustrates the Romantic impact on his writing, is the beauty of nature. “At evening, sitting on this terrace, When the sun from the west, beyond Pisa, beyond the mountains of Carrara/Departs, and the world is taken by surprise When the tired flower of Florence is in the gloom beneath the glowing Brown hills surrounding,” the opening lines of his poem “Bat” were cleverly crafted to describe the environment around the poem persona.
The sun setting and the moon rising in the evening were vividly described in these lines through the use of language. The reader can see the scene through the persona’s eyes and understand the wonder and beauty of nature thanks to the precise description of the surroundings and the lights emitted by the setting sun.
Unjustified bias: Unjustified bias is one of the main themes in David. H. Lawrence’s “Bat,” where it is stated that the poet’s character has irrational dislikes towards the mammal. Lawrence is well known for the prejudices he expresses in his animal poetry. For instance, in “Snake,” possibly his most well-known poem, he throws a log at a snake not because he especially wants to but because he believes that doing so is necessary to convey hate toward snakes.
The poet persona in this poem appears to despise bats. He describes their physical appearance in repulsive terms. ” Creatures that hang themselves up like an old rag, to sleep; And disgustingly upside down. Hanging upside down like rows of disgusting old rags And grinning in their sleep. Bats!” The rapid succession of the adverb “disgustingly” and the adjective “disgusting” underlines the speaker’s strong feelings. The bats ruined his peaceful evening among Florence’s splendors.
The Right to Individual Preference: Lawrence’s “Bat” contains a strong theme of the right to individual preference. We learned in this subject that every individual has the same right to make choices and decisions in life. The poet persona’s distinctiveness and opinions about what he wants and despises are plain and loudly and compellingly expressed from the opening of the poem.
In the final verse, the poet persona compares the Chinese love of bats with his hate of birds. The poet’s inventiveness in pitting society against the individual and allowing the individual to triumph conveys the value of individual preference in life decisions.
POETIC DEVICES (Poem: Summary of BAT by David. H. Lawrence And Past Questions)
Diction: The poet’s choice of language is quite easy, and he uses a conversational tone, which allows the readers to grasp the idea given in the poem. The poet also used various Italian terms, establishing the physical context of the poem as Italy. Examples can be found in lines 34, 2, 4, 6, and 8.
Symbolism: In the poem “Bat,” the poet delays several symbols. Lawrence uses nature and creatures from nature as a symbol. The poet uses the bat as a symbol to indirectly establish his dismal image of Europe at the turn of the twentieth century. Also included is a nod to Chinese culture and what the bat represents to the Chinese. In China, the bat represents happiness, but the poet character repeated that the bat does not represent happiness to him; rather, he despises it.
Alliteration and metaphor: In line 4, the poet used both alliteration and metaphor: “When the tired flower of Florence is in the gloom beneath the shining.” The recurrence of the “f” sound creates a stuttering hesitation, as though the world is resisting the progression toward darkness. He also compares Florence to a “tired flower,” emphasizing both the beauty of the city and the exhaustion that comes with the end of the day.
Repetition: Repetition can occur on a word, phrasal, clausal, or sentential level. In Bat, repetition occurs on a word level. The word, “Bats”, is repeated several times in the poem. It is repeated in lines 26, 31, 32, 38, and 43 and as “bat” with the definite article in line 44.
Simile: It is a comparison using ‘like’ and ‘as’.The following expressions are instances of simile in the poem: “like a glove, a black glove thrown up at night” (line 23)
“Wings like little bits of umbrella” (line 37)
“Creatures that hang themselves like an old rag, to sleep” (line 39)
“Hanging themselves upside down like rows of disgusting rags” (line 41)
SUMMARY (Poem: Summary of BAT by David. H. Lawrence And Past Questions)
D. H. Lawrence “Bat,” concentrates on his disdain for the Mammal; Bat, He relates how he was sitting on a terrace someplace in Florence, Italy, “beyond Pisa, beyond the mountains of Carrara,” watching the sunset and suddenly sees something swooping over the arches of the Ponte Vecchio.
At first, he believes they are swallows with “spools of dark thread sewing the shadows together,” but it is too late for swallows, and he becomes bewildered, wondering what these flying objects-” like a glove, a black glove was hurled up at the light”-could be.
They are bats, and they frighten the poet. Bats are “wildly vindictive,” according to Lawrence.
They don’t just swoop, but fly “madly,” causing” an uneasy creeping in one’s scalp.” He even wonders if they’re creatures at all, characterizing them as “small lumps that soar in the air” and their wings as “pieces of the umbrella.”
Lawrence’s attitude toward the animal worsens as the poem progresses. He despises the way they sleep upside down and grin.
He concludes by adding that whereas bats are a sign of happiness in China, they are a symbol of suffering to him.
1. Explain the devices used in the poem “Bat” by David H. Lawrence.
2. What is the tone and mood of the poem?
3. What kinds of imagery did D.H. Lawrence use in his poem ‘bat’?
4. How does the poet use diction in the poem?
5. Write a detailed summary of the poem.