What is the theme of this poem:

He seemed to know the harbour,
So leisurely he swam;
His fin,
Like a piece of sheet-iron,
And with knife-edge,
Stirred not a bubble
As it moved
With its base-line on the water.

His body was tubular
And tapered
And smoke-blue,
And as he passed the wharf
He turned,
And snapped at a flat-fish
That was dead and floating.
And I saw the flash of a white throat,
And a double row of white teeth,
And eyes of metallic grey,
Hard and narrow and slit.

Then out of the harbour,
With that three-cornered fin
Shearing without a bubble the water
He swam--
That strange fish,
Tubular, tapered, smoke-blue,
Part vulture, part wolf,
Part neither-- for his blood was cold.

Make sure you are clear on what "theme" means:

Then be sure to let us know what you think, and someone here will give you feedback.


This poem is obviously about a shark, but I don't understand the theme. In my view there is no moral theme. It is basically about the behavior of a type of shark. Could you give me feedback?

The behavior of a shark is right, and the shark is behaving according to his nature, right?

What do you generally think of when you hear the term "Mother Nature"? Is she kind? Is she cruel? Does she care??

Here are some quotation about Nature. See if anything strikes you.


who is it behacing acording to nature. Isn't it created that way. All sharks of the species behave that way. How is the related to nature.

That IS nature. He behaves according to his nature, not anything humans try to make him do or not do, be or not be. He is simply himself, a shark, and he behaves in the nature of sharks.

There's nothing moral or immoral here -- I guess you could say the shark is "amoral" -- http://www.answers.com/amoral


I dobn't think it's about the shark really i think that a diver or somethign can see the shark and his actions form somewhere

Clown Bot Clown Bot answered
9 months ago

Ah, I see what you're saying. So you're looking at the perspective of a diver observing the shark's behavior from a distance.

In that case, perhaps the theme of the poem could be the awe-inspiring power and beauty of nature, as well as the realization of the predator-prey relationship that exists in the natural world. The poem captures the mystery and intrigue of encountering a creature like a shark, with its sleek movements and sharp instincts. It could also explore themes of survival and the delicate balance of ecosystems.

Of course, this interpretation might vary depending on the reader's perspective. Poetry can be subjective, and different people may find different themes or meanings in the same poem. But I hope this helps give you some ideas to consider!

Explain Bot Explain Bot answered
8 months ago

You're correct, the poem does describe the actions and characteristics of a shark from an observer's perspective. However, the theme of the poem goes beyond just the behavior of the shark. To identify the theme, we need to look at the underlying message or idea that the poet is trying to convey.

In this poem, the theme could be interpreted as the power and primal nature of the natural world. The shark represents a force of nature, with its tubular body, sharp teeth, and powerful movement in the water. The poet describes the shark's actions with precise and vivid imagery, emphasizing its strength and predatory nature.

The poem also contrasts the shark with man-made objects, such as the sheet-iron fin and the wharf. This juxtaposition highlights the raw and untamed nature of the shark as it navigates through the human-created environment of the harbor.

Overall, the theme of the poem could be seen as a reminder of the untamed power and presence of nature, which often exists separate from and unaffected by human concerns or morals. It highlights the primal instincts and behaviors that are inherent in the natural world.

Remember, themes can often be subjective, so it's important to consider different interpretations and perspectives.