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"Hawk Roosting" by Ted Hughes

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"Hawk Roosting" by Ted Hughes "Hawk Roosting" is written in six regular stanzas, each consisting of four lines. The poem seems to have a regular metrical pattern, as it is laid out in regular blocks. However it does not appear to fit a specific rhyme scheme. The visual presentation of the poem on the page is known as its typography. In "Hawk Roosting" each line of the poem is marked with a capital letter regardless of sentence grammar. In metrical poems there is a tendency for each stanza to end with a full stop, but this is not he case in "Hawk Roosting". The poem only shows this aspect in the opening two stanzas and the final stanza. The poem is mostly written in short sharp sentences, which makes the language and images more powerful and direct. This can be seen in the last stanza, where each line is a short sentence: "The sun is behind me. Nothing has changed since I began. My eye has permitted no change. ...read more.


For example, "I sit", "I kill" and "I hold". These help make the poem more immediate and powerful, because we feel as though the hawk is addressing us directly. The poem is about the hawk's thoughts, in particular about how perfect and great he is. There is no human element at all in this poem and so it is solely the hawk that represents nature. He represents nature with his power, and because of his high rank he expresses himself in a formal way. The hawk's attitude to life is direct and aggressive, and so direct language is used. The hawk expresses himself in short concise sentences to make the language powerful and direct. For example, "The sun is behind me", "Nothing has changed since I began", "The allotment of death", and "I am going to keep things like this". Most of these sentences are short and use simple language. This creates direct powerful images, as there is nothing else in the sentence to distract or confuse the reader. ...read more.


This personification of the earth shows the hawk in control of it like a king. The hawk is presented as a God like figure. The general tone of the poem can be noticed throughout the play. The hawk is proud of who he is and shows this through the images and the tone of voice. When read aloud the poem sounds like a politician's speech, because the hawk wants to impress people. The tone changes through the play with the different ideas and attitudes that are created. For example, there is a hard and brutal tone in the line "My manners are tearing off heads". The hawk speaks emphatically and is confident that we will find him as fascinating as he does himself. This can be seen in the lines, "It took the whole of Creation To produce my foot, my each feather: Now I hold Creation in my foot" There is an arrogant tone of voice in lines such as "I hold creation in my foot" and "the earth's face upward for my inspection". The last line, "I am going to keep things like this" also shows the hawks arrogance in the way that he believes that it is himself who controls the things around him. ...read more.

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