How does the writing capture the poet's feelings about the good and bad qualities of pike?.
To help you answer this question, you might consider:.
The ways in which the poet's words show his feelings as he describes what pike look like.
How he describes his experience when owning three pike.
How he feels about pike, and how he feels pike view him, at the end of the poem.
Pike seem like an unusual topic for inspiring a text, but Ted Hughes poem 'Pike' uses these freshwater creatures to contemplate the opposing complexities of their existence. He observes their beauty and their grace and contrasts these traits with their killer instinct and aggressive nature. .
In the opening four stanzas of 'Pike', Hughes uses a number of images to capture the positive and negative traits of pike. He uses adjectives such as 'perfect', 'grandeur' 'gold' and 'delicacy' to convey the pike's beauty, majesty and fragility. The words 'grandeur' and 'gold' seem to illustrate Hughes' admiration for a creature that looks regal and valuable. He juxtaposes these images with the words 'malevolent', 'tigering' and 'horror' to convey the pike's darker qualities. 'Malevolent' and 'horror' highlight it's evil tendencies, making it seem sinister and corrupt in nature, while 'tigering' implies it's fierce and brutal attributes; they are 'killers from the egg' – born to destroy . It seems that Hughes contrasts the pike's qualities to illustrate his mixture of feelings towards such a complex creature. He marvels at its beauty and is equally in awe at its power and ferocity. .
As the poem continues, Hughes describes a time when he kept three pike in a tank. He uses this anecdote to highlight the pike's intolerance of other living creatures, although his tone is not judgmental. In this episode, Hughes uses structure to powerfully convey the speed at which the pike grow: 'three inches, four/ And four and a half.