Infographic illustrating aspects of the Liz Lochhead poem Revelation
A photo of the Book of Revelation in the Bible

This poem describes an apparently trivial incident in the life of a young girl which leads to her becoming aware of the presence of evil in the world.

The title Revelation suggests a surprising and unknown fact encountered for the first time. It can also mean that something significant about human life has been revealed, perhaps through a divine or spiritual intervention. This specifically suggests The Book of Revelation in The Bible – a book which is concerned with the battle between good and evil and which represents this struggle, symbolically, with monsters.

The monster encountered by the girl in the poem is a black bull. She encounters it when she visits a farm to buy some food for her family. She has never seen anything so powerful or threatening before and is awed by its potential for destruction. In her terror, she runs from the farm while, at the same time, being careful not to damage the eggs and milk that she carries with her.