Commentary on Hawk Roosting

3 Feb
In the poem, Ted Hughes portrays a hawk that considers itself as superior and reveals its egoistic behavior. Hughes expresses the hawk’s superiority through the usage of metaphor. In the first stanza, first line, Hughes states that: “I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed” (1). In this first line, the usage of “I” indicates the hawk’s self-esteem and signifies its pride because it’s capitalized and indicates its importance in the animal kingdom and the hawk’s supreme ego. Hughes creates an imagery when the hawk is sitting on the top of the wood and looking at the earth from an arial view. “Sit on the top of the wood” gives us an idea of how superior the hawk is. This indicates that Hugh compares the hawk to a king or a ruler or compared to God sitting on the top of the world looking at the earth. His eyes closed indicate that no one is superior and everybody is oblivious except him and the fact that he exists. Hughes also mentions God using a metaphor and demonstrates how the hawk is similar to God or more superior than God. In the third stanza, the hawk says:”…….Creation to produce my foot, my each feather: Now I hold Creation in my foot” (12-13). In the phrase, “Creation” refers to God as it is capitalized and as stated before that the Creation produced the hawk’s feathers and foot. There’s no one else who could create feathers or foot other than God. The hawk holding Creation in its foot implies the hawk’s dominance over God or the hawk is greater than God. This suggests how arrogant the hawk is.



One Response to “Commentary on Hawk Roosting”

  1. claudiadast February 3, 2011 at 9:40 PM #

    Nice work, Shaki!

    It is clear that the theme of “Hawk Roosting” you have focused this commentary on is that of superiority and egoism. You have acknowledge a variety of literary devices or elements, such as metaphor, diction and the personification of God (“Creation”), as well as the tone of the hawk, which you have suitably and justifiably described as “arrogant”. I also feel that you have acknowledged the poet’s use of imagery, but indirectly. In other words, I can see how you made the connection between the hawk holding Creation in its foot or that it is sitting “at the top of the wood” with superiority, but maybe you could just add in somewhere that the author’s use of *imagery* also prompts to that conclusion.

    In terms of the commentary’s cohesion, you have structure both paragraphs in the classic point-example-explanation format, which makes it more organized. However, instead of structuring the overall work in the sync with the progression of the poem, you could have structured it more based on the literary elements. For instance, you talk about the use of a metaphor in paragraph 1 and then again talk about another metaphor use in paragraph 2. Perhaps you could talk about the poet’s use of metaphors all in one go, and give the two examples.

    In general, your points were all relevant to the themes you stated in your introduction.

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