Most of us think snakes as fearsome symbols of death. But the poet has a different opinion about it. In his view that snakes are not harmful if they are not disturbed. They make harm to the human body only when they think him a danger for their own life. In this poem, the snake itself becomes a victim of human hardness.
This small poem by W.W.E. Ross, written in unrhymed, free-verse with unequal lines, is the poet’s plea to human beings to treat snakes in a kind manner. Human beings generally tend to kill snakes to avoid being bitten, but the poet reveals that all snakes are not poisonous and all of them do not harm human beings.
The poem is based on the theme of prevention of cruelty towards animals. The poet develops this thought by requesting people to maintain ecological balance and not to harm any species, in this particular case – the snakes. Since all snakes are not venomous, they are harmless and attack human beings only in self-defense. Hence they should be left on their own. They have a right to existence, too.
The title reveals that the snake is making an effort. This title is repeated in the opening line to reinforce the ‘trying’ by the snake. It makes the reader curious and he reads the rest of the poem to learn that the snake is a victim and is ‘trying’ to save himself from someone who is chasing him in order to kill him with a stick. Thus, the title is apt as it initiates the inquisitiveness of the reader and prompts him to find out about the snake’s efforts.