NCERT Textbook: Poem 7 - Hawk Roosting Class 11 Notes | EduRev

English Class 11

Class 11 : NCERT Textbook: Poem 7 - Hawk Roosting Class 11 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Hawk Roosting 121
Hawk Roosting
Ted Hughes
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 sub’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.
7
2019-2020
Page 2


Hawk Roosting 121
Hawk Roosting
Ted Hughes
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 sub’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.
7
2019-2020
122 Woven Words
ABOUT THE POET 
Ted Hughes (1930–1998) completed his
education at Pembroke College, Cambridge. In
1956, he married the poet Sylvia Plath. He tried
to make a living in America by teaching and
writing. Finally, he returned to England.
The most remarkable quality of Hughes’ poems is an intense
and obsessive fascination with the world of birds and
animals; and though essentially about birds, animals and
fishes, his poems shock us with unusual phrases and
violent images.
The above poem is in the form of a monologue.
F F F F F Notice the use of the following phrases in the poem and guess
what they mean in the context
air’s buoyancy               sophistry in my body
UNDERSTANDING THE POEM
1. Comment on the physical features of the hawk highlighted in
the poem and their significance.
2. How does the poem emphasise the physical prowess of the hawk?
3. ‘There is no sophistry in my body’—this statement expresses
the brutal frankness of the hawk. Does the poet suggest
something through this statement?
4. ‘Now I hold Creation in my foot’—explain the centrality of this
assertion in the poem. What makes the hawk’s assertion of its
invincibility so categorical?
5. Why is the poem entitled ‘Hawk Roosting’?
6. Bring out the parallel suggested between the predatory instincts
of the bird and human behaviour.
TRY THIS OUT
1. Consult a dictionary or an encyclopedia to differentiate between
the following birds
eagle hawk kite vulture
2019-2020
Page 3


Hawk Roosting 121
Hawk Roosting
Ted Hughes
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 sub’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.
7
2019-2020
122 Woven Words
ABOUT THE POET 
Ted Hughes (1930–1998) completed his
education at Pembroke College, Cambridge. In
1956, he married the poet Sylvia Plath. He tried
to make a living in America by teaching and
writing. Finally, he returned to England.
The most remarkable quality of Hughes’ poems is an intense
and obsessive fascination with the world of birds and
animals; and though essentially about birds, animals and
fishes, his poems shock us with unusual phrases and
violent images.
The above poem is in the form of a monologue.
F F F F F Notice the use of the following phrases in the poem and guess
what they mean in the context
air’s buoyancy               sophistry in my body
UNDERSTANDING THE POEM
1. Comment on the physical features of the hawk highlighted in
the poem and their significance.
2. How does the poem emphasise the physical prowess of the hawk?
3. ‘There is no sophistry in my body’—this statement expresses
the brutal frankness of the hawk. Does the poet suggest
something through this statement?
4. ‘Now I hold Creation in my foot’—explain the centrality of this
assertion in the poem. What makes the hawk’s assertion of its
invincibility so categorical?
5. Why is the poem entitled ‘Hawk Roosting’?
6. Bring out the parallel suggested between the predatory instincts
of the bird and human behaviour.
TRY THIS OUT
1. Consult a dictionary or an encyclopedia to differentiate between
the following birds
eagle hawk kite vulture
2019-2020
Hawk Roosting 123
2. To what aspects of human behaviour do the following adjectives
apply
eagle-eyed hawkish
SUGGESTED READING 
1. ‘The Lake’ by Ted Hughes
2. ‘Poem in October’ by Dylan Thomas.
2019-2020
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