Evening Hawk Analysis

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Evening Hawk Analysis

By | Feb. 2008
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The poem Evening Hawk may appear to be about a hawk going about during the night, yet it is more than that. It is a poem in which Robert Penn Warren illustrates the transition from day to night and compares it to human flaws.
As the hawk is being introduced, Warren describes the scene using geometric terms such as "angularity," "plane," and "geometries." These words pinpoint on what is being emphasized and which the author is trying to direct our attention to. The shapes created help us to picture in our mind what form they appear to be. As the hawk approaches however, night comes closer and the sharp vivid shapes blend into one another. This stanza can also be compared to human nature as well. The day represents the human surface, what they want everyone to perceive. However, just as the hawk approaches and day changes to night, the surface becomes blurred and blend together while the things beneath the surface becomes clearer.

As the hawk passes through, it states "The head of each stalk is heavy with the gold of our error." By describing errors as gold, it means the best of errors. Compared to human flaws, it shows the best of our flaws and imperfectness. As the hawk climbs, our flaws become seen, and eventually nothing but flaws can be seen. "Look! Look! He is climbing the last light....whose eye, unforgiving, the world, unforgiven, swings / Into shadow." The mood expressed in the fourth stanza is that of futile hope. The hawk tries with great strength to stay in the light, however, it inevitably falls into darkness. Yet it is in the darkness that the hawk becomes more knowledgeable, as it's "wisdom is ancient" and "immense." This can be interpreted as human flaws benefiting us; as we learn from them, we become more wiser.

Evening Hawk appears to be about human flaws falling into a pit of despair. Yet from that despair, those flaws become the basis upon which we attempt to better ourselves and learn from them. The very flaws that drive us...
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