Commentary On Hawk Roosting and The Author to Her Book
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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 [W1]and strength. This brings out the subject of the poem that the hawk is an idealistic [W2]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'[W3]. 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[W4]”. This leads to consider an unanswered question of life: Are we the only ones running the show?[W5]
An in depth analysis reveals that the author chose to write the poem in a monologue 6 quatrains structure, each resembling a monologue[W6]. 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[W7] fate. Stanza 6 shows the hawk exercising power over his regime.
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[W8] the hawk can speak in poem, [W9]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[W10]. The high trees were exclusively created for its convenience; the air’s buoyancy provides greater lift; the sunrays [W11]shines light onto its meal[W12].
In stanza 3, the hawk portrays itself as an authority above god. This is seen in line 12, “Now I hold Creation in my foot.” Making the point that it has surpassed its creator and now assumes the responsibility of creation.
In stanza 4, the hawk attempts to show off its authority. This is seen in “I kill where I please because it is all mine”. The hawk makes openly reveals its uncompromising and ruthless way of killing. “…tearing off heads.” It shows that the hawk is free of social obligations and does not have to be polite in its mannerisms.
In stanza 5, the hawk authority is not to be challenged. In line 17, “allotment if death” suggests that the hawk is the angel of death, reinforcing the idea that the hawk has advanced beyond creation,
In stanza 6, the hawk makes no attempt to justify its actions. However, the hawk refers to the sun, “The sun is behind”. In a sense the sun gives the hawk moral support for its action, suggesting that the hawk creates the law and doesn’t need sophisticated arguments “sophistry” to justify his actions.
[W13]To sum up, Hughes has successfully conveyed the brutality and resoluteness of nature through the personification of a hawk. At the same time, it also reminds humans not to be arrogant, but to reflect on themselves and be responsible for the damage they have caused to the environment.
Throughout the poem “The author to her book”, the metaphor of control is the image of the baby being born and nurtured. This imagery conveys the complicated attitude of the speaker through the impression that the speaker has low regard for her own work. Despite being having deep affection for her creation, she still recognized the importance of “send thee out of door”. This decision is mixed with the feeling that sending her creation out of the door could be” “less wise than true”, which could change her creation for worse.
The first effect of the image of the baby being born and nurtured is to present the book as a reflection of what she sees in herself. Unfortunately, the “brat” shows crippling deficiencies and drawbacks, which represent what the “author” believes that there are serious flaws and imperfections in herself. She is not only saddened, but ashamed of these defects, even taking into account the “unfit for light.” Despite being rejected by these faults, she understood that the “book” is the fruit of her own “feeble brain”. The “author” speaks of an ‘ill-informed offspring of her feeble brain’ which is the first line in the poem. The author speaks of her child that having ‘blemishes’ as seen in ‘I washed thy face, but more defects I saw.’ This is a power representation of the defects and abnormalities she sees in herself.
Despite having deep affection for her book, she was a guilty about sending her book to the press. This contradiction is more obvious when she claims her book was “snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true.” She is anxious about the safety of her work as “in critic’s hands, beware thou dost not come.” Even though the book has received lots of help, there is a possibly of it being damaged by critics. In the second half of the poem, the author reveals another attitude. In line 17, the “author” desires to eradicate the repulsiveness of her work by giving it “better dress”, however due to poverty, she has “nought save home-spun cloth”. In the final stanza, she argues that her poverty has forced her to be send her book to editor . This decision clearly contradict her feelings. But since she lives in poverty, she has decided to send her “son” into the world to earn a living for her.
To sum up, the poem make extensive use of a single metaphor: the portrayal of the “author” ‘s book as a “rambling brat” with disgusting defects. The physical defects of the “brat” reflects the “author” ‘s own imperfections. This also shows why her decision to have her book “exposed to public view” opposes her shame toward the work. Sending out her work because it was scribbled with imperfection at the price of lessening its errors, so that it will avoid criticism. Although the book was perfected, it got better with the aid of the author’s “friends.” The baby she gave birth to has finally grown up and become a story to be shared in books.
A reasonable attempt at this stage Jensen. More use of quotations and developed discussion will help you obtain a better mark next time.