Poem: The Panther, by Rilke

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,
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,
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
lifts, quietly--. An image enters in,
rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,
plunges into the heart and is gone.

- Rainer Maria Rilke
English translation by Stephen Mitchell

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Panther_(poem)

tags: poetry,captivity,freedom,panther,big_cat