Kenneth C. Mason: On "Buteo Regalis"

"Buteo Regalis" is a brief but startlingly vivid insight. . . an epiphanic moment. . . . [I]ts object is to give a potent sense of the raw wild strength in nature.

It is just its accuracy in description which is so impressive in this poem. Lines two and three - "What sense first warns? / The winging is unheard, / Unseen but as distant motion made whole. . ." - are remarkable for their realism and their apparent ease in handling a very difficult perception. Lines five through eight recall Hopkins' "The Windhover" in their sound effects and imagery, and not altogether to their disadvantage. Indeed, when we remember that Hopkins' poem is also wholly descriptive, we can see a similarity, in the intentions of the two poems. Hopkins makes his falcon a symbol of the glory of Christ, while Momaday makes his hawk an emblem of the physical glory of nature.

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Title Kenneth C. Mason: On "Buteo Regalis" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Kenneth C. Mason Criticism Target N. Scott Momaday
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 27 May 2020
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication "Beautyway: The Poetry of N. Scott Momaday"
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