The Hawk Essay

The issue of power versus weakness is transmitted strongly in both poems. In ?§Hawk roosting??, the hawk?¦s image is captured in an authoritative tone, especially by the enhancement of first person view. The hawk?¦s domination and power is highlighted in the poem by describing its supreme position above all in almost all aspects of its life. ?§I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed?? conveys a sense of forceful peace, as if the hawk knows it holds so much power that it is fearless and can roost confidently without being attacked. To ?§sit in the top of the wood?? also demonstrates a noble rank, resembling the king in the human royal monarchy. The line ?§I kill where I please because it is all mine?? emphasises the power the hawk believes he holds, as if he has ownership over Creation. Meanwhile, all other creations made by God are symbols of inferiority, acting to serve the hawk and die when he chooses for them to die. For example, ?§Now I hold Creation in my foot?? suggests tat he holds the trees limbs, a foundation of life, under his grasp. The manner in which he dictates the maintenance of law under his reign as seen in ?§My eyes has permitted no change. I am going to keep things like this?? also conveys the idea that the hawk alone can overcome any other force. Similarly, ?§Hurt Hawks?? also creates the issue of power against weakness. Despite the fact that the hawk?¦s wing is injured and cannot fly, ?§cat nor coyote will shorten the week of waiting for death.?? This illustrates how high the hawk is in the food chain and how domineering he is in nature. ?§At distance no one but death the redeemer will humble that head?? emphasises again that the hawk rules the land, and nothing but death will claim him. In the final lines ?§but what soared; the fierce rush; the night ?V herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising?? shows the everlasting power of the hawk. Despite the loss of its body, the weaker forces of nature herald its soul.

Likewise, arrogance is a quality derived from manipulation of power that has been mentioned in both poems. In ?§Hawk roosting??, the eagle is highly conceited and will not even think of anything capable of being mightier than he is. The line ?§And the earth?¦s face upward for my inspection?? reveals his belief that the vast stretches of earth have all been made to serve only him. All the animals are made for him to kill whenever he chooses to and he assumes that his reign is unquestionable. This status is similarly revealed in ?§Hurt hawks?? where the injured hawk, who knows it?¦s about to perish, refuses to appear defeated. Instead, it maintains its arrogance that symbolises height above Creation. This is distinctly shown in ?§asking for death, not like a beggar, still eyes with the old implacable arrogance,?? in which the hawk retains haughtiness until death. It is through these quotes that the idea of arrogance is created in both poems.

Both hawks are also seen as the Chosen one and only one of Creation. Besides the power, they are depicted as rulers who hold complete control over creation and none other can change that position. For instance ?§It took the whole of creation to produce my foot, my each feather?? suggests that God had chosen to put everything into creating the single hawk. Similarly, the fearful attitudes that humans and other animals show towards the hawk in ?§Hurt Hawk?? also indicate that the hawk was ?§chosen?? by God to be the ruling creature. This can be clearly seen in ?§I?¦d sooner?Kkill a man than a hawk?? which indicates that even men see more value in a hawk than other men. Thus the idea of the hawks being recognised in speciality by God is seen in both of the poems.

On the contrary, Ted Hughes and Robinson Jeffers convey different ideas about hawks in their poems. The most obvious difference is that the hawk in Hughes?¦ poem is still energetic, very much alive, ambitious and towering. However, Jeffers?¦ hawk is approaching death and acknowledges it. A strong sense of submission is shown in the poem as the hawk stares at the poet which is a symbol that the hawk is ready to die.

Another significant difference that can be observed relating to the idea of hawks is conveyed through the poets?¦ attitudes. Hughes, by only highlighting the haughtiness, evil power, relentlessness and cruel intention so the hawk, results in a highly negative image. For example, ?§there is no sophistry in my body. My manners are tearing off heads ?V the allotment of death?? conveys a tone of malice and savageness. Thus the idea of hawk is critical. On the other hand, Jeffers admires the courage of the hawk in his poem. He describes the submission in the bird, and the agony if experiences since it is physically stronger than other creatures but is now powerless. There is a sense of pity and sympathy as Jeffers describes the internal strength the hawk tries to maintain. Admiration is depicted in ?§Beautiful and wild, the hawk, and men that are dying, remember him,?? where he suggests that even men pay respect to the boldness the hawk possesses. These contrasting concepts of criticism ad admiration are responsible for the difference of ideas expressed in the two poems.

Through analysing the poems in terms of these subjects, attitudes and themes, similarities and differences can be made. Whilst the idea of power against weakness, arrogance and exultation of hawk?¦s role in creation is supported by both Hughes and Jeffers?¦ poems, the impressions of criticism and respect towards the eagles are contrasting.

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