The poem Hawk Roosting was published in the collection Lupercal of Ted Hughes in 1960. This poem consists of 24 lines and has been divided into six quatrains (4 stanzas). We already know that Hawk is a bird, and the title of this poem is “Hawk Roosting” which refers to the voice of a hawk, or you can say, the story of a hawk.
In this poem, a hawk has been presented with human emotions. The hawk in this poem has been given the power of speech and thought, and he is quite proud of it. The hawk believes that the entire world is a slave to him that he is the ruler and it is his right to prey. He is quite arrogant and believes himself to be higher than everything and everyone else.
His home is the tall trees in the forest from where he rules. He believes that the sun, the air, the trees, and even this entire earth is a slave to him and takes his permission for revolving. Whatever is in the Hawk’s mind, he does the same and doesn’t listen to anyone else.
Ted Hughes was an English poet, translator, as well as a children’s writer. He was born on 17 august 1930 and died on 28 October 1998. He married the famous American poet Sylvia Plath. He was also appointed as Poet Laureate in 1984. The famous works of Ted Hughes include Lupercal, Cave Birds, Flowers and Insects, and The Hawk in the Rain.
Summary Of Hawk Roosting By Ted Hughes
The poet has written this poem from the perspective of the Hawk and with this he says that he sits on the top of the wood with his eyes closed, doing nothing, not even watching falsifying dreams between his hooked head and feet. He is also not rehearsing perfect kills and way of eating his prey while keeping his eyes closed, because he is arrogant that he is already perfect enough.
He says that the high trees are made perfectly according to his need. The buoyancy of the air is also apt where he can float, and the rays of the sun are also according to this need and he believes that all these things are there only for his sake. He says that even the earth is facing towards the sky only so that he can inspect it properly and find its prey. Thus, according to the Hawk, this entire universe works for him and he is the sole ruler.
He says that his feet are locked upon the rough bark. He says that it has taken about an eternity in creating a creature like him, in creating every single part of his body including his feet and every feather. And he says that now that I am created, I hold all the Creation in my foot while I prey. I even hold the trees made by God with my feet, he can also fly high in the sky and inspect the world by revolving it all slowly.
He says that he kills whichever creature he pleases because according to him, this world all belongs to him. He says that there are no logical thoughts in my body. He does not care about the feelings of others. He doesn’t care about their thoughts and does whatever comes to his mind. He says that his manners are just to separate the head of his prey from its body. He depicts that he becomes quite barbaric when he hunts.
He says that he is the one who allows death when he is on his path of flight, his flight is always connected to someone’s death because he never fails to prey, his prey can never escape from him. There are no arguments that can assert his right, he doesn’t have to explain his actions to anyone, and he can do whatever he wants to.
He says that the sun is also behind him, and he is also ruling the sun. he says that ever since he has come to this world, nothing has changed in this world and this is because his eyes never permitted this world to change. And he says that he is not even ever letting anyone change in the future and will things will stay the same.
Hawk is presented as a powerful creature in this poem. He is so powerful that he is ruling the entire world and all the creations of the world. He preys and kills whenever he wants to and it is his right to kill other creatures. Nothing changes in this world without his permission and he has never let anything change in this world.
Hawk Roosting Themes
The major theme of the poem Hawk Roosting is Nature and Violence, how the hawk is a part of nature but his mind is filled with violence as he wants to harm the other creatures of nature.
The hawk is proud just because of his power and believes himself to be superior to others. The poem is particularly keen to stress the way that violence in the hawk’s world at least, is not some kind of moral wrong but a part of nature.
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