Poems The Fish Snake and Woodchucks

In thepoem The Fish the poet is not subjected to any constraint or limitation that produces fear or annoyance in her as far as the fish is concerned. The fish does not resist capture and fish, in general, are not known to cause harm to human beings. Therefore, it is easier for the speaker to feel sympathy for the fish when she witnesses the evidence of five other fishing hooks in its jaw. In the poem Woodchucks by Maxine Kumin however, the woodchucks are destroying her vegetables which she invested time and money into planting, while in the Snake, the speaker is faced with the inner fears that have been created in the human race against snakes, especially the dangerous variety the poet is looking at, that have been known to hurt people.Moreover, the speaker in The Fish is faced with an animal that has been subjected to human cruelty and is living with the evidence of that cruelty in the form of fishing hooks in its aching jaw that testify to its battle for survival. On the other hand, in the Woodchucks the animals are causing harm to the speaker’s property and all the prior attempts of the speaker to stop this damage, by gassing the area have been unsuccessful because the hardy woodchucks are resilient and the damage continues. Therefore, the kind of reaction generated in the speaker is different from the Fish, she feels annoyance and irritation that rapidly escalates to violence, because of the persistent damage caused by the woodchucks.Similarly, in the Snake, the speaker is faced with an animal that is known to be dangerous and in his mind, he repeatedly hears the voices of the warnings that have been issued to him against these snakes. They are dangerous animals that have been known to cause harm. While the poet initially resists his fear and admires the animal, it is ultimately the voices in his head and his indoctrination against a known dangerous animal that finally spurs him to try and harm it with a stone.