Hughes uses repetition, alliteration, and syntax in this poem to suggest the elemental power of the hawk. This language turns in on itself and, in a sense, becomes about itself; in this sense, Hughes is not writing about a hawk at all, but his own hawk-like prowess as a poet.
One use of repetition is with the word "hook," which appears twice in line three, suggesting that the body of the hawk is a kind of symmetrical arrangement of hooks (head and feet). The poem returns to the idea of the hooked foot in the third stanza, in which the hawk's "feet" are "locked" in the "bark"; the image of the foot (not, interestingly, the more appropriate "talons") returns over and over, a symbol of the hawk's evolved nature and his absolute dominance.
Hughes's use of repetitive sounds, especially the hard k sounds alternating with the softer fricative f sounds, as in the third stanza's use of "locked" and "bark" as contrasted with the "foot" and "feather" two lines later suggests the double nature of the...
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