Agony Calories

... a live-boiled lobster,


How much pain can you eat?

But wait –

Given a choice in the matter,

Our friend Mr Lobster

Would very much rather

You didn't plunge him straight

Into a pan of boiling seawater

(You know that by the noise)

But simmered him to a gradual death

At eighty-five degrees, a method

Mr Lobster very much enjoys!

... Smash him in half!

You'll get a thrill –

And you'll hear Mr Lobster laughing,

You'll hear Mr Lobster laughing,

Yes, you'll hear Mr Lobster laughing

All the way to the grill!

As the poem unfolds the person who eats the lobster is addressed as if he has now become a lobster. What kind of device does the transformation of the eater into a lobster present?

16. Define the device used:

– My sister uses so much make up, when she takes it off she loses 30 pounds!

– My teacher is so old, she remembers the tragedy when the dinosaurs died!

– The town where I grew up is so isolated, that the only friend I had was a duck.

Make up your own versions of the same device using the following beginning:

– It was so cold, …

– Her eyes are so big, …

17. Discriminate between metaphor, simile and personification in the following examples:

a) The sun breaks through the window-pane like a stone, crashing its fragments of light on my face.

Z. Ghose

b) Clouds labour across the sky like goatskin bags…

Z. Ghose

c) The dwarfs were delighted to find her and took great care not to wake her, but fussed around as quietly as little mice, tucking her in and making her snug.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

e) And round about were the wistful stars / With white faces like town children.

T. E. Hulme

e) The ballerina glides out of the wings,

Like all the Aprils of forgotten Springs.

J. Masefield

f) I can’t stand it when he goes humble – it is like seeing a lion sitting up begging (not that I ever did one).

D. Smith

g) “For Poetry, he’s past his Prime,

And takes an Hour to find a Rhime:

His Fire is out, his Wit decay’d

His Fancy sunk, his Muse a Jade*.

I’d have him throw away his Pen;

But there’s no talking to some Men”

* disreputable woman

J. Swift.

h) Schemmer was their problem. They must avoid his wrath as they avoided the venom of the centipedes* that lurked.

* a worm like creature with many legs

J. London.

i) “To me he is power – he is the primitive, the wild wolf, the striking rattlesnake, the stringing centipede” – said Arrelano.

J. London.

j) There was something venomous and shakelike in the boy’s black eyes. They burned like cold fire, as with a vast, concentrated bitterness.

J. London.

k) It was as though a black shadow stood at his elbow and urged him to go forward; and there were only weaving circles and floating pin-dots before his eyes.

R. Kipling.

l) Pheely emerged, both amazing green eyes now painted with dark, luscious shadow so that they gleamed from her face like slices of kiwi fruit.

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