[Please forgive the spastic spacing. Blogspot is having a tantrum.]
In David Wagoner’s “To a Farmer Who Hung Five Hawks on His Barbed Wire,” the speaker imagines a specific and detailed revenge upon a farmer who’s violated most codes of decency or humility about humanity’s place in the universe. The farmer has made an arrogant, thoughtless display of his conquests over some of earth’s most beautiful creatures. What can a moral being do about that? For me, Wagoner’s apparent answer undermines the argument of the poem, in spite of some marvelous images of vengeance.