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Hawk Roosting& Golden Retrievals Analysis

1510 words - 7 pages

In the poems "Hawk Roosting" written by Ted Hughes and "Golden Retrievals" written by Mark Doty, both poets compose their poems as speakers "talking" (thinking) through animals' point of views. Although both poems are written through an animal's eyes, both take on the world from very different views through their complex characterization of an egotistical hawk to a lighthearted golden retriever. Hughes and Doty portray their animals in a way that makes it seem like they feel that they're superior to humans (although in different manners) through the usages of alienated alliteration, inventive imagery, straightforward syntax, melodramatic metaphor, and perplex personification.
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The confident bird then goes on to portray his towering view of the woods (on the canopies) when he illustrates, "And the earth’s face upward for my inspection" (8) making himself seem arrogant, as he alludes that the entire earth exists only for his scrutiny. The hawk then describes his flight– "Fly up, and revolve it all slowly-- / I kill where I please because it is all mine" (13-14) acting poised, gyrating the woods without showing any doubt and self proclaiming ownership. He then assesses and continues to show no fear when he says, "There is no sophistry in my body: / My manners are tearing off heads" (15-16), from this he is characterized as a relentless king of nature proving no mercy will be given under his wing (reign). The hawk then depicts his attack, "For the one path of my flight is direct / Through the bones of the living. / No arguments assert my right” (18-20). Explaining that nothing can stand in his path (where he only goes one direction without turning back) even if he has to travel through everything in his way ("bones of the living") and where he faces no competition (that the hawk will always be right) creating an unconquerable vibe of a King. As in "Golden Retrievals," Doty also includes imagery of the dog’s actions throughout poem in first person point of view. The Golden retriever scans the ambience seeing, "[A] [b]unny, tumbling leaf, a squirrel" (3) then gets distracted, "Sniff[ing] the wind, then/ I’m off again" (4-5). As dogs do, his short attention span then causes him to scrutinize his surroundings once more revealing the typical image of a diverted mindset, distracted by everyday objects around him: "Muck, pond, ditch, residue…" (5). The stream of consciousness and imagery of his actions characterizes the Golden Retriever as a dog that sees the world always in the present never in the past or future. His stream of awareness at the beginning also includes rhetorical questions, to highlight this playful, yet short attention-span: "Fetch? Balls and sticks capture my attention / seconds at a time. Catch? I don’t think so" (1-2). From the imagery that Doty illustrates, the Golden Retriever sees himself as just another typical dog viewing the world only to his needs and eyes, not worried about everyone else's (like humans). And similarly, although the hawk and the Golden Retriever hold different personalities, they both see the world almost the same.
Syntax is the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences and with this technique both poets pinpoint the most obvious attribute that their animal holds. In "Hawk Roosting," Hughes opted to endow the hawk with a sophisticated palette of vocabulary: falsifying, convenience, buoyancy, sophistry, allotment, etc to bequeath the hawk with intelligence. Although, the syntax of the hawk's language is very yet simple to an everyday extent (since he is a mere bird); he speaks with easily understandable diction, "For the one path of my flight is...

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