Poem with an explanation: The gnat

The gnat flies,
and bounces,
and buzzes,
and moves around.
It flies in the face,
and by the eyes,
and in the noise,
and in the mouth.
It stays,
and won’t go,
and keeps moving,
inches from a face

with a swift snatch of the hand,
in front of the face,
the palm moves,
the fingers close,
and the gnat is grabbed,
in a tight grip,

the gnat is taken outside,
and set free.


This poem is in some way about stages that don’t lead as might be expected.

The first stanza describes the persistent, and assumingly annoying, behavior of a gnat to a person.  The repetition of the word “and” is meant to reinforce the idea of the persistent behavior.  It ends with the word “until” which seems to imply an end.  The reader is intended to assume that the death of the gnat will happen soon.

The second stanza describes the capture of the gnat.  It is meant to sound forceful, and reinforces the idea that ended the first stanza.  This stanza also ends with “until” and, as in the first stanza, is meant to lead the reader to believe that the death of the gnat will happen soon.

The third stanza ends the stages, but leads to an unexpected place.  Instead of ending with the death of the gnat, it ends with the gnat being set free.  The stanza is shorter than the first two and has a different sound to imply the different tone.