Topics for Further Study
Write a brief descriptive poem about an animal, making people look at it in a way they never have before. In the last line, include a surprise action.
Compare this poem to Ted Hughes’s “Hawk Roosting.” Why do you think both birds are portrayed with such nobility? Which poem do you think contradicts that noble appearance most? How?
This poem has references to the ancient Greek myth of Icarus. Study that story, and explain how you think knowing it helps a reader interpret what Tennyson is saying here.