The Panther by Rainer Marie Rilke In the Jardin des Plantes, Paris His vision, from the constantly passing bars, 1 has grown so weary that it cannot hold anything else. It seems to him there are a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world. As he paces in cramped circles, over and over, 5 the movement of his powerful soft strides is like a ritual dance around a center in which a mighty will stands paralyzed. Only at times, the curtain of the pupils 9 lifts, quietly--. An image enters in, rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles, plunges into the heart and is gone. Tr. Stephen Mitchell
To start the discussion of figurative language this week, please read “The Panther” and then respond to the following. Please respond to at least one other student post.
1. What kind of “image enters in” the heart of the panther in the final stanza?
2. How are images of confinement achieved in the poem? Why doesn’t Rilke describe the final image in lines 10-12?
3. Although the subject of the poem is a panther, the language could be used to describe many other things. What kinds of people or experiences might the speaker be alluding to in this poem?
4. Give examples of the different senses (sight, touch, scent, taste, sound) that are appealed to in this poem.As a reader, how do these details affect your experience of the poem?