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The Panther

The Panther
— Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Douglas Pinson)

His worldview from the constantly moving bars
Has become predictable, boring and cannot hold
Anything more. The black cat sees a
Thousand bars, and beyond the bars, nothingness.

As he paces again and again in cramped circles,
The movement of his powerful, athletic strides
Is like a ritual dance circling a core
In which a mighty will is engulfed in stone.

Only now and then the curtains of each pupil
Lift, slowly–. An image, a sound enters in,
Rushes down through the tensed, locked and waiting
Muscles, plunges straight into the heart and disappears.

I came across this translation on Spinoza Blue

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Categories: poetry Tags: , , ,
  1. July 13, 2010 at 5:07 am

    this is an excellent poem.
    Nicely done

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