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Eulogy for a hermit crab - Pattiann Rogers - Summary

eulogy for a hermit crab summary

The poem “Eulogy for a Hermit Crab” by Pattiann Rogers is an elegy written in praise of a hermit crab, a crustacean that carries around an abandoned shell to cover its soft, vulnerable abdomen. The poetess minutely observes the actions and movements of the hermit crab which is otherwise considered to be an insignificant creature.

In the first stanza, the poet portrays the obstacles faced by the hermit crab in the sea. Its life is surrounded by surf drenched rocks, salty slough holes and the glinting grey sea. The white froth created out of the continuous waves, blinds the vision of the crab, and often makes it collide with the rocks. It also adjusts with the icy wind at night. Despite such hostile conditions, the hermit crab manages to survive bravely.

The second stanza celebrates the physical beauty of the hermit crab. The orange curve of its claws, black-pea eyes and its swinging antennae magnifies its beauty. It remains secluded in the “hermitage of its crabness.”

The third stanza is the poet’s tribute to the hermit crab. She describes the transitory nature of the sea, which stretches itself back and forth. In the end, she mourns as well as praises the hermit crab and glorifies it.

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