Group Analysis of Two Poems Sharing the Same Topic: Cockroaches Morley in his poem “Nursery Rhymes for the Tenderhearted” and Wild in his poem entitled “Roaches” constitute two distinct tones through their use of imagery and perspective. Morley’s tone toward roaches is whimsical while Wild’s attitude is bleak. Morley lighthearted entertaining poem is more to depict his own personal fear of the cockroaches, which is an example of his own perspective. Wild’s message is the opposite, he forces the fear upon the reader, he causes the reader to be scared with the imagery that he uses. In the first poem Morley takes a whimsical look at the common kitchen cockroach through images of its leaving behind evidence on its nightly visits, using words and phrases that give the reader an almost benevolent picture of what most people detest. The speaker addresses the roach directly, personifying it.
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The images are of the roach snacking and playing in the kitchen: “reclining on the cheese,” “browsing among the tea leaves,” “trekking on the biscuits,” “drowsing in the sugar bowl,”. Just how any normal person would encounter a cockroach, Morley depicts the poem as if it were his own encounter. One can tell that the speaker/Morley doesn’t have such a gruesome perspective towards the cockroaches. Wild’s viewpoint of roaches contradicts Morley’s by validating the cockroach’s misaligned reputation through dark diction and nightmarish images, making the reader uncomfortably aware of its eeriness. Unlike Morley’s friendly roach who raids the kitchen at night, Wild’s creepy roaches take possession of human beings invading their bodies. This roach, as opposed to Morley’s, is eating disgusting gunk in the bathroom that no person would ever consider to be a meal, something so noxious.
The roaches begin to take over his body, ”nibbling his toes,” “probing in his veins,” and “scrambling up his throat” in the same way that roaches take over the sewers in the dark of night “crouched like lions in the ledges of sewers” “black eyes in the darkness”. Wild places the roaches in a position that makes the reader squeamish and uneasy, he makes you build up this picture in your head that not that these creatures are only two inches long but that they are some type of demon. Wild leaves this image on a reader that sets the tone to be terrifying, as if when you were to stumble upon a cockroach in the restroom, you basically walked into your own death sentence. While Morley paints this pretty picture that they are nothing but harmless creatures, and misunderstood.