The poem, ‘Garden Snake’ is a simplistic description of a harmless snake. The young child narrator encounters a snake in the garden and runs away from it out of fear. However, his mother informs him that certain kinds of snakes are not dangerous at all. They feed merely on insects. The young child narrator loses his fear, thereafter and begins to watch the snake pass through the garden.

Stanzawise Explanation of the Poem


Stanza 1

I saw a snake and ran away….

Some snakes are dangerous, they say;

But mother says that kind is good,

And eats up insects for his food.

So when he wiggles in the grass

I’ll stand aside and watch him pass,

And tell myself, “There’s no mistake,

It’s just a harmless garden snake!”

Reference The above lines have been taken from Muriel L Sonne’s poem ‘Garden Snake.

Context The poet describes how the child’s fear gets replaced and he is able to watch the snake with delight.

Explanation The young child narrator sees a snake and runs away thinking the snake to be dangerous. His mother, however, tells him that some particular kinds of snakes are not dangerous but good. They eat nothing but insects. Thereafter, the narrator no longer afraid used to stand aside and see the snake wiggle in the grass. Every time the narrator sees the garden snake, he reminds himself that there is nothing wrong as this is just a “harmless garden snake.”