Friday, May 22, 2015

The Panther: Cottrell vs, Kline

    In Leonard Cottrell's translation of The Panther, the reader gets a sense of a person observing a panther in a zoo - given that he says the panther is behind bars. The poem is very matter of factual and sounds as if the observer is just stating the movements of the panther, which he describes with strong physical features. He only really begins to mention emotion of the panther towards the end of the poem, where he says that the panther "...stands there numb.." Even in the last four verses, where it talks about the heart, Cottrell chooses to use words that do not emit much emotion but are again, more or less stating facts.

    In contrast to Cottrell, A.S. Kline translates The Panther using words that evoke much more emotion from the reader. Instead of simply stating what the panther is doing, he attempts to translate to us what the panther is thinking. Of course, we can never know what he is actually thinking, but Kline interprets what he could be thinking using his movements. For example, pacing in front of the bars make the panther "wearied" instead of just "a empty stare", as Cottrell puts it. Kline also uses much more adjectives when describing the panther, which allows the reader to better envision the animal they are reading about. In my opinion, this makes Kline's version of The Panther a much better read than Cottrell's.

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