Characters

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 169

This poem focuses, as the title suggests, on the pike—not one pike in particular, but pike as a breed. The speaker describes pike and how they move near the surface of the water, depicting their "malevolent" expressions and the fact that they seem to be "killers" from the moment they emerge from the egg. The speaker imagines how pikes view their own position, believing them to think themselves far larger and more important than they really are.

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The other character in the poem is of course the speaker, and some implied other people—he describes how "we" kept three pikes in a tank, until they eventually killed each other, driven by their innate desire to kill.

The speaker describes how he fished for pike in a pond and found that there were pike within it "so immense and old" that they seemed beyond his reach, but appeared to watch him.

Some owls are briefly mentioned in the poem, but they are simply part of the night time scene.

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