The Worm And The Angler Poem by Unnikrishnan Sivasankara Menon

The Worm And The Angler

Rating: 4.8

They (the fish) are not as intelligent as we who kill them; although they are more noble and more able.- Earnest Hemingway in 'Old Man and the Sea'.

When you picked me up from the dirt
I writhed and tried to wriggle out
For my life.
I felt the vile heart that throbbed
On the ugly fingers that held me-
Your heart!
It was dirtier than the dirt I lived in
Fouler than the fowl-beaks
I escaped till day
Crueler than the crow-beaks
That would feed on my flesh.

Not even in my dreams
Had I seen a hook
Much less, one that would impale me,
For, none who ascended the cross, nay, hook
Came back to tell the tale of the crooks.
Life is just another tale
By another name!

My slightly flesh
Would not your hunger sate
So I am here on the hook a bait
For the fish to come and bite.
I would attract only smaller fry
Bigger sharks need better baits.

The fish that would swallow me
And end up on your dining table
Knows quite well that
I do not belong to its waters
And its regular food
But never guess I am a bait
May not notice the hook, the line
And the vile hands holding control.
It would be too late
When the sharpness of the hook
Meets its flesh
And pulls it out
Of its own waters
Writhing, gasping for a wisp of air
In the abundant air
That would snatch its life away.

In the excruciating pain
And the suffocating full open air
It would definitely forget
To curse you, the line and the hook.
But the curse on me
Is for generations to come.

Its guts you remove
Would include my little flesh
May be still alive
Would feed the crows and the fowl.
But they would never know
My bleeding heart, life impaled
Your forked tongue
And crooked fangs.
Life is just another game
By another name!

Monday, March 21, 2016
Topic(s) of this poem: human life
Susan Williams 28 December 2016

Ah, you have written an awesome poem here. Putting aside the metaphor aspect of this poem for a moment tells me it stands tall as an elegy for a worm writhing on a fish hook. I always hated that part of fishing- I was spared taking the fish off the hook and gutting it but my father insisted I put my own squirmy worm on my hook. I felt like the meanest, cruelest, most savage barbarian on earth putting a worm on the hook, piercing its body and it would squeal with its body. The life lesson we could learn from this is so varied and strong. So glad you posted this. and you get a big 10++++++

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Unnikrishnan E S 29 December 2016

Hi Susie, I had not noticed that you have not read this poem. This was the first poem I posted on PH. And we got acquainted much later, so I missed to invite you to read this one. Now, your observations on it. So very deeply analytic. And, meanest, cruellest.....most savage barbarian... How did I read your mind! ! ! That too before even meeting you on ph. Of course, the experience the worm goes through while impaled on the hook is beyond words. And I have seen it still alive, even after the fish is removed from the hook (though fishing, especially by hook, is something I never liked.) Thank you Susie for all the appreciation. A word from a poet I adore like you, made my day. Thank you for all the appreciation and a Big Thank You, for that 10. Obliged.

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Farisa Haleel 07 May 2016

Really good.... its very well narrated the life of worm in a different way

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Unnikrishnan E S 08 May 2016

Farisa, Though the poem is explicitly about the worm and the angler, I would like you to read the life of a woman in a man's world, in the poem? Can find it concealed in the lines?

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Poet Amber Piercy has added this poem to her favourites. My gratitude to you, Amber

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Thank You, Dillipji for adding the poem to your favourites

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Rob Lamberton 16 December 2022

Life is just another tale By another name! Interesting poem, though tough on the fisherman.

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It feels great to read your note. Thank You, dear poet

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Susan Williams 24 May 2020

I am going to read all your older poetry until you return and bless us with your friendship and exotic writing

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Susan Williams 24 May 2020

There is no one on PH who can write a better story in verse form. 10++++++++++ and onto fav list

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Unnikrishnan Sivasankara Menon

Unnikrishnan Sivasankara Menon

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