Vernon Scannell's Poetry
Support for studying English GCSE and A Level
Vernon Scannell - 'Nettles' - Annotation
Annotation prompts for Vernon Scannell’s ‘Nettles’.
‘Nettles’ is written from a father’s perspective – he witnesses his son falling into a bed of nettles, before attempting to eradicate them. Metaphorically it represents parents not being able to protect their offspring from life’s impending problems. Vernon Scannell (23.01.1922 – 16.11.2007) was born John Vernon Bain. He fought in WW2, but disliked war and deserted twice – he was arrested and court-martialled.
Is the poem autobiographical? Scannell had 6 children. One handicapped son died as an infant and another son died much later in a motorcycle accident. It could be argued that personal tragedy is at the heart of Scannell’s work.
The annotation prompts are a supportive tool, intended to encourage further poetry analysis and interpretation.