Ted Hughes, Hawk Roosting
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Ted Hughes, Hawk Roosting

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A short Bio on his life and a lesson on the poem "Hawk Roosting"

A short Bio on his life and a lesson on the poem "Hawk Roosting"

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  • 1. Ted Hughes 1930 – 1998 Carol Wolff
  • 2. Private Life
    • Married Sylvia Plath(1932-1963)
    • They had two children.
    • Later they separated, which may have contributed to the suicide of Plath in 1963 .
  • 3. His Poetry
    • He was aware of violent forces of nature.
    • He wrote with great powers of imagination.
    • His writing was very cynical, written in rough, harsh, sometimes disjointed lines, emphasizing the scheming and savagery of animal life.
  • 4.
    • A hawk sits atop a tree in a forest, meditating his place in creation. He sees himself as the pinnacle of the universe, around whom everything revolves.
    • He is a deadly killing machine, born to kill, born to rule the world.
    • Or is this man we are talking about?
  • 5. Hawk Roosting
    • I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.
    • Inaction, no falsifying dream
    • Between my hooked head and hooked feet:
    • Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.
    • The convenience of the high trees!
    • The air's buoyancy and the sun's ray
    • Are of advantage to me;
    • And the earth's face upward for my inspection.
    • My feet are locked upon the rough bark.
    • It took the whole of Creation
    • To produce my foot, my each feather:
    • Now I hold Creation in my foot
    • Or fly up, and revolve it all slowly –
    • I kill where I please because it is all mine.
    • There is no sophistry in my body:
    • My manners are tearing off heads - The allotment of death.
    • For the one path of my flight is direct
    • Through the bones of the living.
    • No arguments assert my right:
    • The sun is behind me.
    • Nothing has changed since I began.
    • My eye has permitted no change.
    • I am going to keep things like this.
  • 6. Structure
    • irregular lines: long and short
    • cacophony: words combining consonant sounds that don’t permit an easy flow of pronunciation, but rather produce sharpness or harshness
    • pauses within the lines
  • 7. The Hawk…
    • Perched on the top of the trees.
    • Inspects the land below
    • has some arrogant ideas of himself
    • thinking that he holds Creation in his feet
    • all is there for him to kill and eat
    • he is going to keep things like this for ever
  • 8. New Words
    • inaction: without any action, in a static sta te
    • falsifying : make false so as to mislead, represent falsely
    • hooked : bent like a hook
    • rehearse : practise speech, performance
    • buoyancy : power to float in a liquid
  • 9. New Words continued
    • creation : bringing into
    • existence; the world, the universe; things created
    • sophistry : false argument; clever, seemingly sensible, but false reasoning
    • manners : way of behaving as to other people
    • allotment : passing on or giving out portions
    • No arguments assert my right : stress, state or declare strongly positively
  • 10.  
  • 11. Image/Character of the Hawk 
    • proud, vain , dominant, arrogant, self-centred, egotistic
    • powerful , violent, cruel,
    • brutal, cold-blooded,
    • blood-thirsty
    • The hawk lives according to the
    • rules of its own morality
    • Hawk is sufficient unto itself
    • and at one with its
    • environment
  • 12. Symbolism
    • Symbol of humanity,
    • like a dictator
    • Symbol of violent
    • force of nature
    • (or nature itself)
    • it is not violence,
    • it is force
  • 13. Questions:
    • Does the hawk have a personality, if so what is the bird’s personality?
    • Is this just a description of the hawk and his psychology, or does it have symbolic or figurative meanings?
  • 14. Carol Wolff