The Eagle Questions and Answers
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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What is peculiarly effective about the expressions "crooked hands," "Close to the sin," "Ringed with the azure world," "wrinkled," and "crawls?"

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The first way in which these words work is by alliteration. The sequence ``clasps – crag - crooked – Close – crawls` repeats a harsh initial consonant, adding dramatic intensity to the poem and linking together a series of terms suggesting the harsh predatory nature of the bird.

`Close to the sun` suggests majesty in two ways. First, in the hierarchy of being, the sun is the most important object ion the sky, just as the eagle is the king of the birds and the monarch is the most important type of human. Second, Zeus hurls thunderbolts from the sky.

`Ringed in the azure world` and a `wrinkled sea` `crawling` suggest the distance between the eagle and the sea below him, with the waves shrunk to wrinkles and their movement to a crawl.

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