Commentary On Hawk Roosting and The Author to Her Book

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Commentary on Hawk Roosting and The Author to Her Book

The poem “Hawk Roosting” demonstrates the predator and prey process through the extensive use of metaphors and personification. The hawk is portrayed as a ruthless predator who surveys its surrounding in search for its meal. At the same time, the hawk is personified as a ruler and creator who possess a great deal of wisdom and strength. This brings out the subject of the poem that the hawk is an idealistic and arrogant creature, suggesting that is Hughes is trying to challenges our perspective of being a human.

As humans, many of us believe that we are the supreme beings in the entire world, that this world was created by God solely for us, that we are imbued with the ultimate task of looking after the world. This is ironic by the fact that the “roosting” hawk is looking down on us here, fully convinced that the world is his for the picking and yet ignorant of the fact that a higher authority exists. While the seat of our intellect is innately the hawk’s “tearing” of “heads”, we pride ourselves on our 'sophistry' and 'manners'. Furthermore, the hawk also states that we live in the “myth of progress”, that history is cyclical, as seen in “nothing has changed since I began”. This leads to consider an unanswered question of life: Are we the only ones running the show?

An in depth analysis reveals that the author chose to write the poem in a monologue 6 quatrains structure, each resembling a monologue. Stanza 1 shows that the hawk believes that he is nature’s most deadly and perfected creature. Stanza 2 shows that the hawk possesses the arrogance of a king. Stanza 3 emphasizes the complexity and uniqueness of the hawk. Stanza 4 shows the hawk doesn’t have good manners. Stanza 5 suggests the hawk wields unquestionable authority over one’s fate. Stanza 6 shows the hawk exercising power over his regime.

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In stanza 1, the hawk is napping. While weaker birds are always on their guard and are alert, the hawk sleeps without worrying about being threatened. Through the use of personification, the hawk is given human characteristics. As the hawk can speak in poem, we are given the opportunity to experience the hawk’s world through its eyes. In line 4, the hawk makes reference to his killing ability-" perfect kills", prominently highlighting the arrogance of the hawk.

In stanza 2, the hawk's arrogance is even more stressed. The hawk perceives his surroundings as his submissive servant. The high trees were ...

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