The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,
The wing trails like a banner in defeat,
No more to use the sky forever but live with famine
And pain a few days: cat nor coyote
Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.
He stands under the oak-bush and waits
The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom
And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it.
He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse.
The curs of the day come and torment him
At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head,
The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.
You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him;
Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;
Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.
I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk;
but the great redtail
Had nothing left but unable misery
From the bone too shattered for mending, the wing that trailed under his talons when he moved.
We had fed him six weeks, I gave him freedom,
He wandered over the foreland hill and returned in the evening, asking for death,
Not like a beggar, still eyed with the old
I gave him the lead gift in the twilight.
What fell was relaxed, Owl-downy, soft feminine feathers; but what
Soared: the fierce rush: the night-herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising
Before it was quite unsheathed from reality.
Robinson Jeffers's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Hurt Hawks by Robinson Jeffers )
Did you read them?
- There Is Nothing But Darkness, Ronell Warren Alman
- Unpopped Corn Kernals and Cold Hearts..., Monk E. Biz
- The Full Moon, Vigna Mukund
- Adrenaline is my Mistress, Hayley Lewis
- Love is a Liquid ~~~ vs.33, Monk E. Biz
- Incarnation, dr.k.g.balakrishnan kandangath
- Eternal creation, ramesh rai
- Lomp doch fijn besnaard 2, Madrason writer
- Treasured days..., David Lessard
- The body of my Temple lays unswept;, David McLansky
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Sonnet 43: When most I wink, then do min.., William Shakespeare
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)