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Robert Penn Warren Evening Hawk Analysis

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As life persists, humans continue to make the same mistakes that we have been making for many years. The poem “Evening Hawk” by Robert Penn Warren is about the continuous errors of humanity, which is forgotten in the past, as death keeps approaching and society progresses. The poet uses imagery, diction, symbolism, and other figurative language devices throughout the poem to convey the dark mood and deeper meaning of history and death in the poem. The poem begins with a beautiful scene of the vast mountains and a hawk flying through it. It introduces the usage of geometrical diction, which continues throughout the poem. The speaker uses words such as “geometries”, “angularity”, and later on “edge”, “sharp”, and “axis” in the poem to show the definiteness and preciseness of death. It shows that death is not something that might happen, but will. The diction is also very sharp, which conveys…show more content…
It begins by alluding the grim reaper when comparing the hawk’s wings to “scythes”, which shows that the hawk is a symbol of death and the beginning of the end. The hawk is described as “unforgiving”, “knows neither Time nor error”, and it “swings into shadow”. This shows that the hawk is also a symbol of time and its passage, as time is unforgiving and it often “swing[s] into shadow”, showing that the past is often left in the past as time moves on. When the speaker says “the head of each stalk is heavy with the gold of our error”, the idea of human error comes into the poem. The line depicts that the “gold of our error” is greed and materialism, which seems petty in the eyes of the hawk. The harvest imagery depicted by “the crashless fall of stalks of Time” shows the growing and falling out humanity and its ways throughout time and history. These of humanity and society, however, will be left in the past as it “swings into shadow” once death comes, and life continues to progress and errors continue to be
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