Written by: Deliverygirltx
The language of the poem conjures many images and develops an entire story in itself. The vision of the panther, his line of sight, is filled with, “the constantly passing bars,” his steady strides, pacing back and forth. “There are / a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world,” displays the panther’s state of mind, no escape beyond his never changing world. Since there is “no world” beyond, there is no meaning to his life, nothing to edge on the will to live. The never changing dance with his own inner strength, “a ritual dance around a center,” constant dance with the fight whether or not to give up on the gait. Ever so slowly, almost without notice the “curtain of the pupils / lifts,” the not so permanent sheet of cloth sways away from blocking the images the panther wishes to see.
The panther is terminally struggling to gain
freedom of the world he has come to know so well. He is reluctant to give his body into the stillness of submission, but has already succumbed to the bars that have desensitized the ideas of a world beyond. Somber images show how the author reflects on the constant movement of the Panther. “Over and over, / the movement of his powerful soft strides,” the author’s pity for this strikingly powerful yet gentle beauty is most apparent in how he considers the panther’s life to be similar to his own. It is as if they are going through life and seeing it as a series of obligations holding them back or bars keeping them from the outside world.
Its will to survive still flickers inside or else the images would not penetrate as they do. However when the images do permeate he is unable to handle the impact. He is unable to act or react to the concepts because there is nothing left inside of him. The images leave so quickly due to the panther’s inability to hold on to them, “gone” disappeared. They are gone, not to return, without any remembrance.
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