Saturday, October 01, 2005

Evening Hawk by Robert Penn Warren

From plane of light to plane, wings dipping through
Geometries and orchids that the sunset builds,
Out of the peak's black angularity of shadow, riding
The last tumultuous avalanche of
Light above pines and the guttural gorge,
The hawk comes.

His wing
Scythes down another day, his motion
Is that of the honed steel-edge, we hear
The crashless fall of stalks of Time.

The head of each stalk is heavy with the gold of our error.

Look! Look! he is climbing the last light
Who knows neither Time nor error, and under
Whose eye, unforgiving, the world, unforgiven, swings
Into shadow.

Long now,
The last thrush is still, the last bat
Now cruises in his sharp hieroglyphics.His wisdom
Is ancient, too, and immense.The star
Is steady, like Plato, over the mountain.

If there were no wind we might, we think, hear
The earth grind on its axis, or history
Drip in darkness like a leaking pipe in the cellar.



I found this poem while flipping through the pages of our poetry book. I like this poem because of the image of the dark and majestic hawk that comes out in the light and swiftly brings darkness. The hawk is depicted as a graceful and efficient warrior, ending the day and bringing the night with his wings. I am not sure what the significance of "our error" is, but it has a connotation that suggests that the errors of the day are the sins that makes the "stalk of time" heavy; the head of the stock is slouched down with shame. Despite the state of the of the time, the hawk proudly rises in the air. I enjoy the feeling of righteousness that I get from the evening hawk. Nothing seems to bother the hawk while it glides freely through the air. I also think there is a transcendentalist theme, where nature rules in the night.

3 Comments:

Blogger Michael Overton said...

I like the way you described that sense of ritiousness you get from reading the poem. I also felt that. And how you also saw the hawk as a great creature, but also a destructive force. From reading the poem i also almost feel as if the hawk is like an angle bringing judgement to the sinners of below. Good analyzation, Good poem too.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Niel said...

This poem is striking in the way that it makes the hawk so vivid in my mind.
I like the personification of the hawk and that he has an immense amount of knowledge not only because of his instincts, but what he has learned in his life. I like the comment about the hawk ruling over the night, because in the air, birds have a superiority over people flying that is interesting to think about.

8:27 PM  
Blogger John Park said...

I really liked the way the author described the hawk, making it seem like an extremely fierce and awe-inspiring creature. Even the tone of the poem of one of complete admiration of the hawk.

4:43 AM  

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