The poem, “The Bat” by Theodore Roethke is suggested to all readers from all ages. The poem could be looked at in many different ways. If you take the poem literally, it is about a bat’s way of life. There are a lot of other various themes for the poem. You could also conclude that the bat is a shy person. In the fourth and fifth stanza, it may allude to the facts of the man’s life. The person ends in an unfortunate end as shown in, “He brushes up against a screen, we are afraid of what our eyes have seen.” He doesn’t like to show his face, as said in the second stanza, “His fingers make a hat about his head. His pulse beat is so slow we think him dead,” closing to the fact that the man is shy or ashamed.
The meaning of the poem may be about the dogfights in World War II. The bat could be a warplane, kept in its hangar by the day, shown in the first stanza. There is cloth over the plane shown in, “His fingers make a hat about his head.” The plane is not used, so “His pulse beat is so slow we think him dead.” In the night, the warplane goes out to fight. The trees in the poem may be buildings, and the “corner light” could be the searchlights. The “screen” is a hidden enemy that brings the unfortunate end to the warplane. The persona to this meaning is the poet, who sees the plane go down. The enemy must have been a plane because the last sentence says, “When mice with wings can wear a human face.” The mice are a symbol of slyness and the disliked. The wings are the wings of the plane, and the human face is the pilot.
The mood of the poem is mainly serious and mysterious. You may not understand the beginning and not know the meaning. The poem ends in a dark and more twisted way, and leaves the reader confused and unsure. It is definite that there is a bad ending. The poet’s attitude to his poem seems dark with dark memories (as if he had seen or remembered something bad). The poet’s language is of his own style. For example, “His fingers make a hat about his head.” Normally, people would just say, “Make a hat around his head,” but Theodore had evidently thought it over well.
The poem rhymes at every stanza. The pattern of the poem is AABBCCDDEE. It makes it sound like a nursery rhyme. There may be no similes, but there are metaphors that change the meaning of the poem, for example, “By the day the bat is cousin to the mouse.” Truly, the bat is not a cousin, but it makes the poem seem more like a story. The bat symbolizes shyness and blindness. The poem is primarily made up of the bat. The poem has ten lines and five stanzas.
Personally, I think that the poem is telling us that the world is getting dirty and polluted and that we need to help. The bat, may be the earth and ends in an unhappy ending. Theodore is probably an environmentalist. Help our Earth! Recycle, Reuse and don’t pollute. Everything counts.