In these poems, the horses are portrayed as natural and a part of nature while the pike are unnatural and don’t fit in with the rhythm of nature. Firstly, in ‘The Wild Horses’, Gilmore portrays the horses as having a beat or a pace which mimics their heartbeat. This is evident in the rhyme scheme: AB AB CC DEED which is in each stanza. The polyrhythmic structure is like a heartbeat and the noun heartbeat suggests the need to live and the pace reflects the speed which is natural. However, the pike poem has no rhyme, ellipsis or enjambment which adds to the broken lines.Order now
This is illustrated in the poem when the author describes ‘the jaws hooked clamp and fangs not to be changed at this date’. this reinforces the point that the poem has no beat like the heartbeat in ‘The Wild Horses’ which emphasizes the broken lines give and gives the poem unnaturalness. On the other hand, the horses are natural objects as they are compared to natural objects. This is indicated in the first stanza when the speaker says ‘let the dark mountain shake to the thunder/ Where the wild horses trample the fern’.
these two lines sound pray like as the imperative verbs and the use of alliteration give the poem an idyllic opening which is calm and pastoral. Whereas, the pike are compared to man made objects which have nothing natural about them. This is implied when the poet is describing the pike in ‘three we kept behind the glass’ and ‘life subdued to it’s instruments, submarine, as a vice locks the same iron in it’s eye’. This is unnatural, as their association with man made objects makes them sound not only unnatural but artificial and a animal as a pike is very natural in a way as it belongs to nature.
In these poems, the poets have portrayed the animals differently. Gilmore’s wild horses are unified and work together as a team while Huges’s pike are cannibalistic, eating their own kind. In ‘The Wild Horses’, the horses are portrayed as a group, working together almost like a homogenous entity. This is evident in the collective pronouns like ‘they’, ‘their’, ‘them’ and ‘The Wild Horses’. this highlights the fact that there is constant reference to numerous horses, they are in group entity and she doesn’t pick out individuals so she thinks they are all equal. However, the pike are portrayed as cannibals eating their own kind.
This is indicated in the text when Hughes describes ‘four and a half: fed fry to them- suddenly there were two finally one’. The idea of this is dramatic an that is why the sentences are short, the author is shocked that they would do this to each other. It is like a competition with a finalist at the end. Whereas, ‘The Wild Horses’ a circular structure, harmony and balance. This is demonstrated in the beginning ‘let the dark mountain shake to the thunder where the wild horses trample the fern / Let the deep values re-echo and wonder / When like an eddy they circle and turn’.
It is like a flowing structure in the first and third line because of the repetition. It is portrayed as a journey with no end. As the beginning is also like the end, there is a sense of balance which reflects the horses’ harmony which is linked to the cycle of life and the natural cycle. On the other hand, the cannibalistic description in ‘pike’ is violent and shocking as one is forced into it’s own death. This is illustrated in the description of the pike getting swallowed ‘one jammed down it’s gills down the others gullet’. This depicts the idea that one pike is eating another and ironically dies in the process.
The verb ‘jammed’ displays the idea of the pike being forced down a gullet and is extremely violent. The horses are harmonious and the pike are rough and do not spare each other which is violent. They are almost alpha males because they are in charge. The horses, are portrayed as dramatic and unstoppable while the pike are silent, trapped and sinister. As the horses career across the landscape, they are unstoppable because they are constantly moving and active and the pike are confined and are not moving. Firstly, the horses are portrayed like racers, unstoppable and untouchable.
This is evident in ‘never has man laid hand on a head’ which means that they are untouched. The speaker emphasizes therefore they are fast and free. In contrast, the pike appear trapped. The environment they are in is an inescapable imprisonment. This is shown in ‘three we kept behind glass’ and this is an trapped environment, it is therefore not their natural habitat. However, the horses have a sense of speed and they career across the land. This is indicated in ‘O the wild sally’ where the monosyllabic vowel creates a sound of shock.
On the other hand, the pike seem sinister and frozen, threatening the quality of the world. This is perceptible in ‘gloom of their stillness’ where the noun ‘gloom’ implies something dark ad evil and the adjective ‘still’ implies they are waiting to pounce. The horses are therefore breath taking and untouched while the pike are confined and mute. In these poems, there are comparisons, but also there is one similar point about them as both the horses and the pike are presented as beautiful and the narrators see them as majestic. Firstly, the narrator sees the wild horses as a dream like experience.
This is shown in ‘a dream that is stealing sense from intention and light from the eye’ where the narrator’s senses are taken away because she is overwhelmed because the horses are magical and to see them is beyond reality. Similarly, the narrator sees the pike as a dream like experience too. This is evident in ‘frail on my ear against the dream’ the noun dream implies something magical, unique and beyond reality. This shows that the dream isn’t real even though the speaker thinks it’s wonderful, and is having a great experience.
Whereas, in the wild horses, the onomatopoeia and alliteration creates a symphonic oral effect. This is depicted in ‘snorting, they stare at us’ where the onomatopoeia creates a sense of musicality therefore harmony, Gilmore creates horses both visually and orally. However, the poet puts in colours associated with royalty in the ‘Pike’. This is represented in ‘pike in al parts, green tigering the gold’ and green represents an ambiguous and unclear colour and gold displays royalty and wealth.
Moreover, the horses are elegant because they are elongated. This is interpreted by ‘outstretched like a racer’ and because the horses are free, and all running together it makes them look as if they are very stretched out which is beautiful. Furthermore, the poet uses imagery to portray a beautiful place. This is characterized in ‘owls hushing the floating woods’ and the noun hushing represents the calming down of nature and it is beautiful because the woods are not really floating, because of the shadows and movement of the owl.
By both animals being portrayed as beautiful, they are in a way harmonious too because of their link to the natural world. I conclude that I like ‘The Wild Horses’ poem more because I like poems that have a meaning and the imagery in ‘The Wild Horses’ is so touching that I preferred this poem. I did not like the ‘Pike’ poem as family is quite important to me and it shows betrayal of the family and the gain of someone that came from the loss of someone else.