Unpack a Poem: The One about the Scorpion and the Frog

A Story About Water

so there’s a scorpion and a frog—they’re trying to
get across this river—the scorpion says to the frog
take me—the frog says are you sure because if you
sting me we’ll both drown—the scorpion says of
course i’m sure—so the frog takes the scorpion
and the scorpion stings the frog and of course
they both drown—wait actually it’s two sisters—

from ‘A Story About Water’ by Gboyega Odubanjo

We’re really glad to bring a second reading guide to spur some interesting discussions and maybe even some new poems in response to the latest issue of The Poetry Review. ‘A Story About Water’ by Gboyega Odubanjo appears in the Autumn 2020 issue of The Poetry Review, and you can read the poem in full and find our ideas about this re-imagined legend here.

Older readers and writers can head to the main Poetry Society website to find ideas related to Fiona Benson’s ‘Matron, Medicine’.

Gboyega Odubanjo
Credit: Sylvia Suli

Gboyega Odubanjo was born and raised in East London. His pamphlet, While I Yet Live, was published by Bad Betty Press in 2019. He is an editor of bath magg.

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