Study Guide

Hurt Hawks Summary

By Robinson Jeffers

Hurt Hawks Summary

As the title promises, this poem's about two hurt birds—one per section. The first describes a hawk with a majorly messed up wing, who's waiting under a bush for his death. Nothing's going to save this guy. The speaker watches and thinks about the hawk's nature and his knowledge and kinship with a wild god.

Though he says he won't, the speaker does in fact kill the hawk. It's a mercy killing. He's tried to save the hawk for six weeks, but it's no use. When he gives this hurt hawk the "lead gift in the twilight," the speaker witnesses the bird's spirit rising up in a "fierce rush."