Evening HawkBy Robert Penn Warren
|From plane of light to plane, wings dipping through
Geometries and orchids that the sunset builds,
Out of the peak’s black angularity of shadow, riding
The last tumultuous avalanche of
Light above pines and the guttural gorge,
The hawk comes.
Scythes down another day, his motion
Is that of the honed steel-edge, we hear
The crashless fall of stalks of Time.The head of each stalk is heavy with the gold of our error.
Look! Look! he is climbing the last light
If there were no wind we might, we think, hear
I was only recently introduced to the poetry of Robert Penn Warren. But I fell madly in love in a very short space of time. Here, before you, is one of my favorites. His use of language is almost disorienting: transforming verbs into adjectives and nouns into verbs. But it retains the imagery and weight and momentum until the valley is filled with shadow, and I am left wondering what exactly is the significance.