This is the only poem I know by Robinson Jeffers, but it has troubled me since I first read it. I sense the author's great respect for the hawk and understand how that respect led him to give it *freedom* as he did, but don't know that others would appreciate why it was the proper thing to do. Proper isn't the right word for it, maybe truthful or honest would be a better word. Truthful to the nature of the hawk and all birds of prey. I might even extend that to all predators in similar circumstances.
I feel a deep sense of reverence for birds of prey. For wild birds of prey. For those that are captive, like the Bald Eagle above, I feel pity. Something so great as an eagle, an owl, a Harris' hawk, or even a little kestral is diminished by being held captive. That is a given, I'd guess. Captivity has its' merits, but I question whether what is in the bird's best interest isn't sometimes lost in the name of *education*.
These birds were on display last week at the county fair. Very popular show; this guy brings his act there most years. Usually I stay away because it bothers me so. This year I waited out a thunderstorm in his tent and took some pics and tried to decide if I was just being overly critical. After mulling it over for a few days while Blogger decided if it would let me make this post with pictures (it won't) - I've decided that this guy and his *show* aren't doing right by the birds. The general public loves being able to get so close - within arms reach- and the opportunity (for a few $$$) to be photographed *holding* one of these birds is a big draw. But to anyone who knows anything about them, or who respects them and can recognize the signs of their stress; it is something very far from worthy. Their was no respect or reverence here. Very little in the way of education - all show, no substance.
There are organizations that do this right. I volunteer for one of the best and know its educators to be fierce protectors of the birds in their care. That is how is ought to be.
Note: I apologize for the links to pics on Photobucket, but Blogger just won't load these.