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Poetry Analysis: Nettles by Vernon Scannell

Nettles is a poem about the relationship between love and pain. The speaker addresses his father as "you" and describes himself as a child who explores the woods with his dog. He describes feeling happy and free, but then feels guilty for enjoying himself when he ought to be atoning for his sins.

In this poem, Vernon Scannell is making use of the metaphor to illustrate his relationship with his father.

Metaphor is a figure of speech that uses comparison to make an implicit analogy between two things. A metaphor can be understood as saying one thing, but meaning another. For example, if someone says "she's a diamond," they are not literally saying that this person is made of diamonds; instead they mean something like "she is precious and valuable."

Simile is similar to metaphor except it makes use of the words "like" or "as" when comparing two things: "she's like a diamond." Metaphors are more complex than similes because they require more effort on behalf of the reader; however, they also allow writers greater freedom in how they express themselves

The stanza begins with a description of a boy and his dog who go off to play in the woods. The nettles are described as being tall and green, which is an indication that they are strong and sturdy like love. They also have sharp thorns which can cause pain if you touch them, much like how love can.

The next line says "the nettles were there", which means that at this time in Vernon's life he was experiencing some sort of guilt or pain over something he had done or felt guilty about (or maybe both).

The speaker explains that he and his father were walking through a forest when they came across "the nets of spring." This metaphor suggests that their relationship has been damaged, like the leaves of a plant that have been torn apart by someone or something.

The speaker feels as though he is being burnt by these nettle leaves: "I felt them burn my hands/And wished I had not come." However, despite this pain and guilt over his actions, he enjoys being in nature and wishes he could stay there forever.

This is an example of how a writer can use words to create an image or feeling in your mind. The poet uses imagery to express how painful this experience was for him and how much it hurt him physically and emotionally. He also uses similes to help you understand what he means by "like" and "as if".

The final stanza contains references to being "happy" and "free", perhaps hinting that the speaker feels guilty for enjoying himself when he ought to be atoning for his sins.

This is particularly evident in lines 14-15: "I'll be happy, I'll be free/And you can come with me." The speaker wants to leave behind his guilt and move on with his life; however, it seems as though he finds it difficult to do so without reconciling with his father first.

The poem speaks about how there is a connection between love and pain. The speaker describes his feelings towards his father, who died when he was young, and how they have affected him throughout his life. He says that "the memory of him is like nettles in my blood". This metaphor shows how painful it is to think about your loved ones passing away or leaving you behind (like nettles sting).

In the second stanza, he states that "there are no words" which can describe how much he misses his father since he died at such an early age. This line gives us insight into what happened between them before he passed away; maybe they weren't able to say goodbye properly because they didn't know it would be their last time together?

Or maybe there wasn't enough time for them both to process what had happened? Either way, this feeling of loss lingers within him even though there aren't any words left between them now either way; just memories which will always remain in our hearts no matter what happens next."


In conclusion, the poem "Nettles" by Vernon Scannell is about a boy who has an uneasy relationship with his father. The speaker in this poem uses metaphors to describe his feelings towards his dad, as well as how he feels about himself. He does this by comparing the pain of being stung by nettles with the emotional pain caused by someone else's actions.

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