Robert Penn Warren Evening Hawk Analysis

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 679 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Mar 25, 2024

Words: 679|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Mar 25, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Flight and Beauty
  3. The Singing Hand of Time
  4. Fragility and Transience
  5. The Inevitability of Death
  6. Metaphors and the Divine
  7. The Twilight of Death
  8. Conclusion


Robert Penn Warren's poem, "Evening Hawk," is a mesmerizing exploration of the natural world and its connection to time and mortality. Through vivid imagery and thought-provoking metaphors, Warren invites us to contemplate the cyclical nature of life and the fleetingness of our existence. In this essay, we will delve into the analysis of "Evening Hawk," uncovering its deeper meanings and drawing connections to our own human experiences.

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Flight and Beauty

The poem begins with an arresting image: "From plane of light to plane, wings dipping through / Geometries and orchids that the sunset builds." Here, Warren paints a picture of a hawk in flight, gliding effortlessly through the sky. The mention of "geometries and orchids" suggests a sense of order and beauty in the natural world, highlighting the intricate patterns and delicate balance that exist around us. This imagery sets the tone for the poem, establishing a sense of awe and reverence for the hawk and its surroundings.

The Singing Hand of Time

As the poem progresses, Warren introduces the theme of time and its relentless march forward. He writes, "Time, in the hand, is singing." This personification of time suggests that it is not merely a passive force, but an active participant in the world, with its own voice and rhythm. The image of time singing hints at the cyclical nature of life, as if it were a song that repeats itself over and over again.

Fragility and Transience

Warren further explores the concept of time through the hawk's movements. He describes how the hawk "floats upon air / As effortlessly as a paper kite." This comparison not only emphasizes the hawk's grace and agility but also suggests a fragility and transience. Like a paper kite, the hawk is at the mercy of the wind, its flight dependent on external forces beyond its control. This idea aligns with the broader theme of mortality in the poem, reminding us of our own vulnerability and the fleetingness of our time on Earth.

The Inevitability of Death

The poem takes a darker turn as Warren introduces the idea of death and decay. He writes, "The kill is not forgotten; / It will be made again." Here, the poet acknowledges the hawk's predatory nature, its role in the cycle of life and death. The phrase "It will be made again" suggests that death is an inevitable part of existence, a constant presence that cannot be escaped. This acknowledgement of mortality adds a layer of depth to the poem, reminding us of the impermanence of life and the inevitability of our own demise.

Metaphors and the Divine

Warren's use of metaphors throughout the poem enhances its impact and accessibility. For example, he compares the hawk to a "winged air" and a "dark angel." These metaphors not only capture the hawk's essence but also evoke a sense of mystery and otherworldliness. By associating the hawk with supernatural beings, Warren invites us to contemplate the divine and transcendental aspects of nature.

The Twilight of Death

In the final stanza, the poem reaches its climax, culminating in a powerful and haunting image. Warren writes, "The twilight bounds softly forth on the grass. / And the eyes of those two Indian ponies / Darken with kindness." Here, the twilight symbolizes the approaching darkness of night and, by extension, the coming of death. The mention of the Indian ponies suggests a connection to the natural world and its ancient wisdom. The fact that their eyes "darken with kindness" implies a sense of acceptance and peace, as if they have made peace with the inevitability of death.

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In conclusion, Robert Penn Warren's "Evening Hawk" is a thought-provoking meditation on the natural world and its connection to time and mortality. Through vivid imagery and evocative metaphors, Warren invites us to contemplate the cyclical nature of life, the fleetingness of our existence, and the acceptance of death. By delving into the depths of the poem, we gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the beauty and complexity of Warren's work. "Evening Hawk" serves as a powerful reminder of our place in the grand tapestry of life and the importance of embracing the present moment.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Robert Penn Warren Evening Hawk Analysis. (2024, March 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 18, 2024, from
“Robert Penn Warren Evening Hawk Analysis.” GradesFixer, 25 Mar. 2024,
Robert Penn Warren Evening Hawk Analysis. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 18 Jul. 2024].
Robert Penn Warren Evening Hawk Analysis [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 25 [cited 2024 Jul 18]. Available from:
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