Comment on the theme of HAWK ROOSTING by Ted Hughes.

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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The poem presents a first person narration of the thoughts of this great predator, the hawk. The main theme of the poem is revealed through the self-assured strength of the monologue, as the bird asserts its dominance-

 I sit in the top of the wood

Its supreme power –

I hold Creation in my foot

 and its establishment as the centre of its own world.

The main surprise to us as reader is the confidence of the hawk in its belief that it is in control, and controls all. We realise that the bird’s narrative is like our own – so similar in the perceived arrogance of its self-belief. When we consider this view from a bird we are sceptical, mocking even. It is when we begin to realise the parallels with our own egotism that we see it is humanity that is held up as conceited -

 Nothing has changed since I began.
My eye has permitted no change.
I am going to keep things like this.


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