Friday, June 29, 2018

The Panther (Rilke)

The Panther

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

Do we live behind a thousand bars
those bars posing as illusion of a
separate world out there..upon which 
our small finite self paces and paces..
paces..and searches for the happiness
which..on occasion..quickly illumines
our ritual dance..but soon plunges
into our clouded vision..once more 
we are pacing behind passing bars...



  1. This sad image and words by Rilke are representative of the cruel way humanity treats animals that are conscious and aware of their condition and/or plight.

  2. Perhaps we are that way because of our invisible cages..! Thanks, CP..