English-14 / R16 / Poetry/Ateneo de Manila 21 February 2000 WAITING FOR YOU Of spotted hawks and wild Geese “I stop somewhere waiting for you.” Walt Whitman’s poem ends with this seemingly undeviating line. The whole poem itself speaks of the persona’s encounter with a spotted hawk, through whose statements we find both profound and simple meanings. Profound in the sense that it speaks of situations where one is ‘untranslatable.’ Simple in the sense that everyday things like dirt and grass, are used as the objects of symbolism. “I too am not a bit tamed… I too am untranslatable.” This is the start of the hawk’s declarations, stating the similarities between the persona and himself (the hawk). The absence of quotations would make it appear as if all lines come from the persona. But reread the poem, and one finds that indeed it is the hawk speaking. By “not a bit tamed” and “untranslatable,” the hawk means partially wild and quite unintelligible. Both the hawk and the persona therefore possess these said qualities. The next few lines speak of this being wild, the seemingly untranslatable actions that the hawk does. From “sounding barbaric yawps” to “bequeathing [one’s self] to the dirt,” the lines speak of being wild and untamed. Though there are no statements that relate these actions to that of a human, we see the image of rituals that signify bestiality. But more than just bestiality, these lines convey the images of being one with wilderness and nature; being in sync with the flow of things. “You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,” says the spotted hawk. This statement complements the ‘untranslatable-ness’ that the hawk speaks of in the first few lines. Unintelligible and obscure, that is what the hawk declares him, and the persona, to be. “Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged,” the spotted hawk proclaims. He now says that it takes more than one try to find him, in his sav…
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