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Hurt Hawks Analysis



Author: poem of Robinson Jeffers Type: poem Views: 28

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                                I



The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,

The wing trails like a banner in defeat,



No more to use the sky forever but live with famine

And pain a few days: cat nor coyote

Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.



He stands under the oak-bush and waits

The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom

And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it.



He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse.

The curs of the day come and torment him

At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head,



The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.

The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those

That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.



You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him;

Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;

Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.



                                II



I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk;

but the great redtail

Had nothing left but unable misery

From the bone too shattered for mending, the wing that trailed under his talons when he moved.



We had fed him six weeks, I gave him freedom,

He wandered over the foreland hill and returned in the evening, asking for death,

Not like a beggar, still eyed with the old

Implacable arrogance.



I gave him the lead gift in the twilight.

What fell was relaxed, Owl-downy, soft feminine feathers; but what

Soared: the fierce rush: the night-herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising

Before it was quite unsheathed from reality.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

There is no evidence that he kills himself. His apprehension comes from ending such a magnificent animal's life. If he had killed himself, he would not have been able to observe how relaxed the bird seemed when it fell nor describe the other birds' reactions to the gunshot.
Although the hawk is proud, it is not able to receive the mercy talked about until it humbles itself, though "not like a beggar, still eyed with the old
Implacable arrogance."

| Posted on 2014-04-10 | by a guest


.: :.

I think that when the author is talking about this dying bird and how god is merciful to it but he is talking about himself.

| Posted on 2012-02-15 | by a guest


.: :.

Jeffers is a great poet and alothough this poem has contreversial veiws, it is beuatiful

| Posted on 2011-09-23 | by a guest


.: :.

The poem Hurt Hawks by Robinson Jeffers gives a very graphic description of a bird dying as a man holds it in his hands. Jeffers starts his poem by giving a detailed explanation of the bird’s current state. He says “The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,” The bird’s wing is separated from its shoulder with jagged bones sticking out and a clotted area where the wing was. He continues with the line, “The wing trails like a banner in defeat” I think the narrator is saying that the bird is like this because it got involved in a fight for survival with a bigger predator where the bigger animal managed to rip half its wing off. Jeffers then gets into how the bird won’t be able to fly or survive because of bigger predators. He states, “No more to use the sky forever but live with famine, And pain a few days: cat nor coyote Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.”
In his next lines he talks about his feelings towards the bird and how no one else is there to tend for it. “He stands under the oak-bush and waits The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it.” The narrator is thinking to himself that this bird is not going to be able to make it through the night, and there is no one else around to tend to the birds injury. He goes on to say, “He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse. The curs of the day come and torment him At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head, The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes. The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.” From here, I think the narrator is looking at this scene from the bird’s point of view. The bird see’s that it isn’t strong enough to fly away or tend for itself as night approaches. As it turns to dusk, it looks for a redeemer and spots one in the distance. The bird is afraid of the redeemer but knows that he can save it. This can be related to the religion of Christianity. The bible states that people should fear God’s power, but know that he is a forgiving and merciful Father to those who come open and willing to turn from their bad ways. The bird is in need of dire help and knows this man can help him. In the next lines, Jeffers gets into how redeemers can be everyday living people that blend in with society. “You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him; Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him; Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.” He explains that people may forget his power, but the bird never will.
In the second section, the narrator explains how there’s not much hope of living. “I\'d sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk; but the great redtail, Had nothing left but unable misery From the bone too shattered for mending, the wing that trailed under his talons when he moved.” He is saying that he doesn’t want to kill the bird, but doesn’t have many other choices because of its current state. In the narrator’s next line, he says that he tries to help the bird for six weeks, but there was no change in the birds state.
Jeffers concludes his poem with a stanza on how the bird dies. He says, “He wandered over the foreland hill and returned in the evening, asking for death, Not like a beggar, still eyed with the old Implacable arrogance.” He explains how the narrator takes the bird with him and the whole time, it is looking at him, and the narrator knows that it wants to be put out of its misery. He isn’t pleading for death, he is willing to die because the pain is unbearable. The narrator then goes on, “I gave him the lead gift in the twilight.” Here we see the narrator giving the gift of death to the bird. He concludes his poem with the narrator explaining the bird’s life before its death. He writes, “What fell was relaxed, Owl-downy, soft feminine feathers; but what
Soared: the fierce rush: the night-herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising
Before it was quite unsheathed from reality.” The bird died so gracefully, much like a vulnerable creature, but before its fate set in, he ruled the sky and made creatures quake in its presence.
I believe this poem is about everyone having a redeemer. Some people look for a redeemer in Christ; others in idols. Jeffers is trying to explain that everyone needs a redeemer whether the case is good or bad. It is just how you come to the redeemer that’s different.

| Posted on 2011-09-19 | by a guest


.: :.

I think that Jeffers writes about such a thing as Hurt Hawks from an experience of his own where had to tend to a wounded "redtail". He writes of the pain that the bird must be going through and really brings out the feeling the hawk had been enduring. At the end he kills the hawk with "the lead gift" which puts himself and the bird out of pain and misery since he had not wanted to kill the wounded animal in the first place.

| Posted on 2009-11-18 | by a guest




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