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    • POEM: Hawk Roosting by Ted Hughes (10/11/2007 1:20:00 PM)

      The hawk is used as a simple analogy to humans in power. In response to Desiree Iten, I don't think Hughes is comparing the Hawk to humans overtaken by 'sophistry' and 'manners' as you say.
      The Hawk itself is powerful and in command of the earth below him: 'The convenience of the high trees! ' He is overjoyed by his power, and asserts his power by saying things such as: 'My manners are tearing off heads - The allotment of death.'
      The hawk is conceited, 'Now I hold Creation in my foot, ' and certain of himself, 'my eyes closed.'
      The hawk is at the top of the hierarchical chain that defines nature and how it runs, and seems unmoved by the fact that he does not need to defend his place on this chain: 'No arguments assert my right: The sun is behind me.' Furthermore, this word sun gives an image of light and righteousness shining upon the hawk, creating a shadow of justice covering all creatures below it. It may also relate back to the idea of nature and how it's rules and laws, no matter how ridiculous they may be, still support his position.
      Desiree Iten, Hughes is not criticizing humans in general, which you seem to think he insists on doing. He is simply criticing the effects power can have on a living being, and demonstrating how it can change one's perspective on life, causing him to become almost dellusional because of this.