Maharashtra State BoardSSC (English Medium) 5th Standard

The Triantiwontigongolope



The Triantiwontigongolope


This poem by - C. J. Dennis is about an insect he goes on to describe the insect and all the similarities and differences it has to all the other insects on the planet, and he goes on to ask us if we have seen the insect and then tells us that he was joking and that we should let it go. 

Stanza by stanza explanation

There’s a very funny insect that you do not often spy,
And it isn’t quite a spider, and it isn’t quite a fly;
It is something like a beetle and a little like a bee,
But nothing like a woolly grub that climbs upon a tree.
Its name is quite a hard one, but you’ll learn it soon, I hope.

In the first stanza, the poet tells us about the insect, and he says that it is not the type of insect that we would often see. It isn't like a spider or like a fly or a beetle or a bee, but it is an insect that has a very difficult pronunciation, but hopefully, we can say it.

It lives on weeds and wattle-gum, and has a funny face;
Its appetite is hearty, and its manners a disgrace.
When first you come upon it, it will give you quite a scare,
But when you look for it again, you find it isn’t there.
And unless you call it softly it will stay away and mope. 

In the second stanza, the poet tells us about where it lies and what it eats, and how much it eats and if you look at it for the first time it is quite scary to look at but then if you turn around and look at it again it's not there any more unless you call its name softly it will mope from a distance.

It trembles if you tickle it or tread upon its toes;
It is not an early riser, but it has a snubbish nose.
If you sneer at it or scold it, it will scuttle off in shame,
But it purrs and purrs quite proudly if you call it by its name,
And offer it some sandwiches of sealing wax and soap.

In the third stanza, the poet tells us about how if you tickle it or turn it upside down, and it will tremble it is not an early riser, and it had a weird nose if you scold it will go away in shame but if you call its name it will purr quite loudly and all you have to offer it to it is some sealing wax and soap. 

But of course, you haven’t seen it, and I truthfully confess
That I haven’t seen it either, and I don’t know its address.
For there isn’t such an insect, though there really might have been
If the trees and grass were purple, and the sky was bottle-green.
It’s just a little joke of mine, which you’ll forgive, I hope.

In the fourth stanza, the poet asks us whether we have stumbled across anything similar to what he is describing, and then he goes on to confess that there is no insect like that at all and how that he was just joking with us.


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