How does Hughes convey his response to pike in the poem?
Hughes’ responses to the pike include admiration, curiosity, respect, fear and horror. He shows this through use of description, similes and metaphors. During the poem his fear of the pike increases from section to section.
He describes the pike as “perfect”, “stunned by their own grandeur”, showing his respect for them. In this, the first, stanza he shows his admiration and fear of the pike with the phrase “They dance on the surface among the flies”. This metaphorical phrase shows admiration through “dance on the surface”, which shows beauty and grace of movement but it shows fear through “among the flies” as this can be taken to mean that the pike are ‘the lords of the flies’ which means devil; the word ‘tigering’ evokes a sense of beauty and fear at the same time, much like the tiger. In the first stanza he also shows his fear of them by saying that they are “killers from the egg: the malevolent aged grin”, this phrase coupled with the next line shows the pike as devilish killers, who have no choice in the fact that they kill, yet take pride in knowing that they have killed; pike are horrifying, destructive and fearful monsters.