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Eulogy for a hermit crab - Analysis

Eulogy for a hermit crab by pattiann roger

Pattiann Roger was born in Joblin Missouri. She attended the University of Missouri, graduation Phi Beta Kappa and went to the University of Hoston where she earned MA in creative writing. She has got many rewards for her works, including two National Endowment for Art grants, Poetry Fellowship, etc. Rogers has taught at numerous colleges and universities as well as in high schools and kinder gardens’. She is also a profoundly theoretical poet, with the power of sustained attention and persistent observation; she brings to her writing a field biologist’s eye for the details of species and phenomena. Her poems often celebrate the natural world. In all her works there is an exploration of our connection to the world to the lives of animals and plants and on a grander scale, to the universe.

The poem ‘Eulogy for a hermit crab’ by Pattiann Roger is an elegy, a poem written in response to the death of the crab. In the poem, Roger uses a type of figurative language to represent ideas, things and actions. This poem offers Roger full credibility as a writer. Alliteration, consonance, repetition, metaphorical speech, figurative speech, etc are arranged in a beautiful pattern which provides the poem with a perfect harmony.

The title ‘Eulogy for a hermit crab' guides us to the poem. It is one which praises the brave life of a hermit crab which is otherwise considered to be an insignificant being. The poem has twenty five lines in total, and it is arranged in three stanzas and follows an irregular rhyme scheme throughout. In these three stanzas the poets draws a complete picture of the life of a hermit crab. The first stanza of the poem contains ten lines, the second stanza has nine lines and the thirds stanza has six lines. The poem starts with the line -“ You are constantly brave”- and the single line itself provides the reader with the full essence of the poem. The first stanza speaks about the hostile atmosphere and surroundings in which the hermit crab lives and the hardships which the crab has to undergo daily.

The second stanza describes the physical appearance and features of the hermit crab. Its soft symmetrical abdomen which lives in a cast of mollusc shell, its gritty orange claws, soft worm like grip of its hinder body, its black pea eyes and the swing of its antennae are described beautifully.  The third stanza describes about the courageous and adamant character of the hermit crab and how the mood of the poem changes from praising the life of the crab to mourning its death. The poet uses rich images to describe the life of the hermit crab. Pattiann Roger describes the movement of the sea as ‘spinning and spinning and spinning’. No archaic words fill the space of the poem. Words like ‘spinning’, ‘day after day’, night after night’ has prime importance in the building up of the content of the poem and are emphasized. The phrases like ‘you stayed’, ‘you were there’ are notable in the poem and describes the life of the hermit crab.
Pattiann Rogers acknowledges the life of a hermit crab which is otherwise considered to be insignificant in a human centric world. The everyday life and struggles of a being like a hermit crab is described meticulously suggesting that the life of a hermit crab is as important as that of a human being.

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