Summary and composition


Here, we will focus on the summary and composition of the poem “A Case of Murder” by Vernon Scannell.

Table of contents


The poem “A Case of Murder” by Vernon Scannell describes an event from the life of a nine-year-old boy who is left home alone in a basement flat with a black cat. The boy dislikes the cat and would have preferred the company of other animals, such as a dog or a rat. Eventually, the boy takes his father’ stick and hits the cat. The animal hides, but the boy chases it from its hiding and, just before the cat is about to escape, he manages to kill it. He panics and cries but still hides it using a shovel, in a cupboard under the stairs, where the cat remains to this day, haunting the boy and waiting to get out.


Both outer composition (stanzas, verses, graphical expression) and inner composition (beginning, subdivision, course) are important analytical elements when discussing a poem, as they can help you get an overall understanding of the lyrical text.

Outer composition

The poem is structured in a single 47 lines-stanza, with verses that have mixed rhyme patterns. Sometimes, the lines rhyme alternatively and other times they seem to rhyme in coup...

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