8th October 2012 Pike Commentary This poem, “Pike”, was written by English poet Ted Hughes. This poem made up from 11 stanzas and each stanza contains 4 lines. This poem can be divided in three parts, each of these parts describing different images of this poem. The first part starts from first stanza and ends on fourth stanza. In first part poet makes an image of objective and subjective descriptions of Pike, the images we get from them and real facts about them.
The first stanza tells us how the Pike looks like, “Pike, three inches long”, “Pike in all parts, green tigering the gold”, word “tigering” makes an image of violent predator and impression that Pike is the most dangerous creature in the lake. By “They dance on the surface among the flies” poet wants to tell us that Pike doesn’t live deep in water. In second stanza poet tells us that Pike is a “grandeur” fish - noble fish. In third stanza, poet used word “gloom” to create strong contrast which makes the image of cruelty of Pike stronger. In fourth stanza poet continues to describe Pike’s looks.
He used words “Clamp” and “fangs” to show that Pike is deadly and dangerous creature. In second part of this poem, poet describes different scenes with Pike. He tells us about personal anecdote of three Pikes kept at home in aquarium and about a deadly combat between two Pikes. In fifth stanza, poet tells us that Pikes were kept in aquarium, “kept behind grass” and that there is a lot of weed growing, “Jungled in weed”. Then poet tells us how big the Pikes were, “three inches, four, and four and half”, but after that poet points out that one of Pikes was smaller and can’t be compared with others, “red fry to them”.
Also, poet tells us that there was a severe fight between them, “Suddenly there were two. Finally one”. In sixth stanza poet describes what happened after the fight, “sag belly and the grin”, by this phrase poet tells us that the winner pike has stayed alive and happy. In seventh stanza poet used simile “as a vice locks” and it tells us that fish was trapped in Pike’s gullet and because Pike is too strong fish can’t get out. The third part of the poem was about personal reflection and recollection.
There is a change in mood after seventh stanza, because the fights have finished and the mood is calm now. In stanza nine, poet describes how the great and old Pike started to move, “Pike too immense to stir, so immense and old”. In stanza ten, poet tells us that he was fishing for so long that even hair on his head got frozen, “With the hair frozen on my head”. In eleventh stanza, by “owls hushing the floating woods”, which means that owls were quieter than floating woods, poet made last stanza to go in even calmer and quieter mood.
The themes of this poem are personal reflection, nature and romantic. The poems that can be linked to this one are “The City Planners”, “Where I Come From”, “Different History” and “A Birthday”. I found this poem very interesting and enjoyable to read, because of many interesting details that poet included. A minus of this poem in my opinion is that it is a little bit too long, so for such lazy reader as me after reading first half of it was a bit boring to continue.