Night Of The Scorpion

Night Of The Scorpion is a famous poem written by a well-known poet Nissim Ezekiel It was first published in his work “The Exact Name” in 1965. It is a narrative poem. The poet describes an incident in which a scorpion bites a lady in this poem. The lady is from a little village. Following this occurrence, the people gather to express their sympathy to the lady.

They have brought their lamps with them to look for the scorpion. The villagers are strongly superstitious. . So, they believe the scorpion’s mobility will spread the poison. As a result, they go out right away to find the scorpion. Some locals say the lady’s suffering is due to her misdeeds committed in a prior life. Others feel that the lady’s pain will alleviate the pains associated with her next pregnancy. As a result, everyone had an opinion on the subject. However, the woman finally recovers after twenty hours. She thanks God for saving her children from the scorpion in her prayers.

Paraphrase & Analysis 

Stanza–1

In this stanza, the poet describes an incident in which a woman was stung by a scorpion. The poet remembers the night on which his mother was stung by a scorpion. The poet says that the incident is still fresh in his memory. He says that it was a rainy season when a scorpion stung his mother because there was no suitable place for him to hide. So he sat under a rice bag. Unconsciously when his mother lifted the rice bag, at that time the scorpion stung her. 

According to the poet, the scorpion did not want to bite her but he did it in fear. After it, the poison moved quickly in the body of her mother. After hearing the incident villagers came there with lanterns in their hands to help the lady. According to the villagers, the poison will spread in her body with the movement of the scorpion. 

Stanza–2

Here the poet describes the pain of his mother after biting of the scorpion. The poison spreads rapidly in the body of her mother. The villagers are superstitious. They believe that the pain of a lady is the punishment of her sins done in the previous birth. Some other villagers say that it may reduce the pain of her next birth in advance. Some villagers have an opinion that the poison will purify her blood from worldly desires. Thus many villagers came to help her but none could reduce her pain. They came to show their sympathy for the lady. It was all useless for the pain of the lady. She was still crying in pain. 

Stanza–3

The poet describes the incident further by saying that the lady is still crying with pain. The poet says that the villagers had applied their home remedies and other methods to cure her mother. But all were useless. Now his father was trying to cure her mother. His father was not a superstitious person. He tries to cure his mother with some medicines. For it, he applies different types of powder and mixture on her toe.

He also uses many types of herbs to reduce her pain. He also uses paraffin on her toe to reduce her pain but all efforts prove ineffective. All treatment given by his father proves useless. At last, after twenty hours of pain, she gets well. She shows her love to her children and says thanks to God because the scorpion did not sting her children in place of her. She was thankful for it. 

Thus the poem shows the superstitious belief of villagers. It creates a sensuous word picture around the readers. The poet narrates the whole incident impressively. It is a highly imaginative poem. The language of the poem is very simple. The poem is written in a narrative style. The poem passes a satire on the superstitious villagers. At last, we can say that the poem is the masterpiece of the poet.


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