“Effortlessly at height hangs his still eye.” The phrase, “height hangs,” is an example of alliteration.

“Steady as a hallucination in the streaming air.”, is the only direct simile I can find in this poem (as defined by the usage of “like” or “as”) but there are plenty of examples of Metaphor.

“And rain hacks my head to the bone, the hawk hangs / The diamond point of will that polestars / The sea drowner’s endurance: and I,” all three of these seem to show enjambment. “Morsel in the earth’s mouth,” uses metaphor to describe how the speaker feels in relation to the earth. “…strain towards the master- / Fulcrum of violence where the hawk hangs still,” uses metaphor to describe the sky (in which the hawk resides) as the still point of a fulcrum from which the violence upon the speaker is being dealt.

Also personification is used in describing the earth as having a mouth. “That maybe in his own time meets the weather” In this line and those following in the final stanza, the speaker’s voice seems to invoke a sense of either envy or just a sober realization of the frailty of all creatures, even powerfully aloof ones. We will all have to face our downfall at some point. But due to the speaker’s point of view as a “sea drowner” and his description of the hawk as both a hanger of a polestar of endurance and will power and having “wings (that) hold all creation in a weightless quiet,” a combination of envy, reverence and awe would seem to be better words to describe his emotion to his own circumstances in relation to that of the hawk. He definitely wants the freedom, power and peace that the hawk seemingly possesses.

 

The Hawk in the Rain by Ted Hughes (Imaginative Writing, page 31)

 

I drown in the drumming ploughland, I drag up

Heel after heel from the swallowing of the earth’s mouth,

From clay that clutches my each step to the ankle

With the habit of the dogged grave, but the hawk

 

Effortlessly at height hangs his still eye.

His wings hold all creation in a weightless quiet,

Steady as a hallucination in the streaming air.

While banging wind kills these stubborn hedges,

 

Thumbs my eyes, throws my breath, tackles my heart,

And rain hacks my head to the bone, the hawk hangs

The diamond point of will that polestars

The sea drowner’s endurance: and I,

 

Bloodily grabbed dazed last-moment-counting

Morsel in the earth’s mouth, strain towards the master-

Fulcrum of violence where the hawk hangs still,

That maybe in his own time meets the weather

 

Coming from the wrong way, suffers the air, hurled upside down,

Fall from his eye, the ponderous shires crash on him,

The horizon traps him; the round angelic eye

Smashed, mix his heart’s blood with the mire of the land.

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