The Panther

Rainer Maria Rilke 1875 (Prague) – 1926 (Montreux)



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.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on May 02, 2023

27 sec read
1,353

Quick analysis:

Scheme XXXX AXAX BXBX
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 504
Words 93
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4

Rainer Maria Rilke

René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke — better known as Rainer Maria Rilke — was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist, "widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets", writing in both verse and highly lyrical prose. more…

All Rainer Maria Rilke poems | Rainer Maria Rilke Books

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