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"hawk Roosting" Analysis

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"hawk Roosting" Analysis

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  • April 12, 2004
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The Hawk's Secret Power.

The poem "Hawk Roosting", by Ted Hughes, reveals much just by the title. We know that the poem will be about a hawk which is roosting. The word "roost" here has two different meanings. We know by the first meaning that the hawk will settle down for rest or sleep, and by the second that it will be in charge or will dominate. This hypothesis is confirmed when we read the whole poem. The language of the poem seems to come from a cultivated person, as if the hawk had a great deal of wisdom and knowledge, as if it had always been there.

The first stanza reveals that the hawk is asleep on top of the high trees. We see the world through the thoughts of the hawk because the author lets it express them as if the hawk is a person. The expression "perfect kill" (Hughes 347) already tells the reader how the hawk believes in its superiority and reveals to the reader its arrogance.

In the second stanza the hawk's belief of superiority is pushed even a little further. It believes that everything is like this because they (" The air's buoyancy and the sun's ray"(Hughes 347) )"are of advantage to [it]" (Hughes 347). In other words the hawk thinks that the world was created to serve him. The author even tells us that the earth faces the hawk for its inspection, which puts emphasis on the hawk's superiority.

The hawk says that it is a complex being when it says in stanza 3 : "It took the whole of Creation/ To produce my foot, my each feather" (Hughes 347). The arrogance and the feeling of superiority of the hawk are pushed to the highest level possible when he seems to say that he is God : "Now I hold Creation in my foot" (Hughes 347).

The idea that the hawk is God is reinforced in the fourth stanza when the hawk says :

" I kill where I please because it is all mine" (Hughes 347).

In the last stanza the hawk says that "The sun is behind [it]" (Hughes 348). We can therefore deduce that the sun is behind him for real but it can also mean...