Odgen Nash's 'This Is Going To Hurt Just A Little Bit' Summary And Analysis Of The Poem


'This is going to hurt just a little bit' summary, analysis and appreciation of the poem which is penned down by poet Odgen Nash. Read more

Written By Kashmira Patil | Mumbai | Updated On:
this is going to hurt just a little bit summary

Penned down by famous poet Odgen Nash, This is Going to Hurt Just a Little Bit is a humorous poem. The poem is full of exaggerations, puns and even metaphors. The poem has given a hilarious twist to one's experience of sitting on a dental chair. 

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This is Going to Hurt Just a Little Bit poem

One thing I like less than most things is sitting in a dentist chair with my mouth wide open.
And that I will never have to do it again is a hope that I am against hope hopen.

Because some tortures are physical and some are mental,
But the one that is both is dental.
It is hard to be self-possessed
With your jaw digging into your chest.

So hard to retain your calm
When your fingernails are making serious alterations in your lifeline
or love line or some other important line in your palm;

So hard to give your usual effect of cheery benignity
When you know your position is one of the two or three in life
most lacking in dignity.

And your mouth is like a section of road that is being worked on.
And it is all cluttered up with stone crushers and concrete mixers and
drills and steam rollers and there isn’t a nerve in your head that
you aren’t being irked on.

Oh, some people are unfortunate enough to be strung up by thumbs.
And others have things done to their gums,
And your teeth are supposed to be being polished,
But you have reason to believe they are being demolished.
And the circumstance that adds most to your terror
Is that it’s all done with a mirror,

Because the dentist may be a bear, or as the Romans used to say, only they were referring to a feminine bear when they said it, an Ursa,
But all the same, how can you be sure when he takes his crowbar in one
hand and mirror in the other he won’t get mixed up, the way you
do when you try to tie a bow tie with the aid of a mirror and forget
that left is right and vice versa?

And then, at last, he says That will be all; but it isn’t because he then
coats your mouth from cellar to roof
With something that I suspect is generally used to put a shine on a
horse’s hoof.

And you totter to your feet and think. Well it’s all over now and after
all it was only this once.
And he says come back in three more.
And this, O Fate, is I think the most vicious circle that thou ever sentest,

That Man has to go continually to the dentist to keep his teeth in good condition when the chief reason he wants his teeth in good condition
is so that he won’t have to go to the dentist.

Summary of 'This is Going to Hurt Just a Little Bit'

The poet has mentioned about the time when he was sitting in the dentist's chair. The poet claims that going to the dentist is the worst torture that a man can experience. Odgen Nash has also mentioned that some tortures may be physical and the others are mental. He also added that the only torture which combines the both is dental. 

The poet has also exaggerated some hilarious comparisons. He compared his mouth being worked on to a road which is being repaired. He also spoke about his nerves that are being irked by the noise. The poet also felt that the dentist was using stone crushers, concrete mixers, drills, and steam rollers. The poet has also described the polishing work which is being compared to demolishing work. 

Odgen Nash also compared the dentist to a bear because according to him his dentist mauls and suffocates him as a bear does to his prey. The poet feels that the use of mirrors during dental treatment is the most terrifying thing. The poet is afraid that the lateral inversion of the mirror may cause the doctor to confuse the right side for the left. 

The poet also believes that visiting the dentist again is the worst thing. He also believes that one can never get out of it. The conclusion of the poem is that the dentist wants his teeth to be kept in good condition in order to keep the dentist away. 

This is Going to Hurt Just a Little Bit: Poem analysis

The poet Odgen Nash has given a comic effect to the poem with the help of exaggerations. So according to the poet, sitting in a dentist's chair is something that may change the course of someone's life. The tension that a person goes through when he is sitting in a dentist's chair will make one scratch their palm with the fingernails so hard that even their lifeline may get altered. 

This is Going to Hurt Just a Little Bit: Appreciation

In the poem This is going to hurt a bit, the doctors use this line in order to soothe their patients before they go through a painful treatment. With this line, the patients are aware of the fact that the treatment is indeed going to be painful. The title of the poem took a humorous turn that the readers will later realise. In the poem, Odgen Nash may be telling all dentists that the poem might hurt them a little bit. 

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