‘Hawk Roosting’ by Ted Hughes
Question: Poetry is the expression of a poet’s singular outlook.
Ted Hughes uses many poetic techniques to give an insight as to his outlook on an aspect of life. He shows us his outlook on the natural world and his fascination with powerful animals of nature as he does in ‘Hawk Roosting’ by depicting a hawk as an all-powerful leader. However, I feel the poem predominantly exhibits human ideas existing in the natural world by using the hawk as a metaphor for humans and their power and control over society. Through this we see Hughes’ outlook on human society.
In ‘Hawk Roosting’ Hughes shows us his admiration for the natural world and its predators. We see this through the paradox of ‘Now I hold Creation in my foot’ and in the monosyllabic language in the line ‘I kill where I please because it is all mine’. These two lines show us the power Hughes thinks the hawk has in the natural world as the paradox of ‘holding Creation’ tells us the hawk has total dominance over all those in his world. The monosyllabic language expresses the simplicity in the hawk’s life as he can act as he pleases as he is the sole ruler of the natural world. These two devices show that he feels the natural world is controlled and maintained through the dominance the hawk exhibits. However, using the hawk metaphorically, I feel these lines give us a look into Hughes’ outlook on human civilization. They both give the idea of humans being the most powerful beings to exist. ‘I kill where I please because it is all mine’ shows the sense of entitlement we feel we have over the world as if we were commit heinous crimes there would be no retribution due to the power we hold over society. The line ‘Now I hold Creation in my foot’ I find interesting as it suggests as we hold ‘Creation’ that we are the creators of the universe. This would lift us to the highest level of authority over life itself. Also I see this line capture the psyche of the human...