Friday, May 22, 2015

The Panther

In the first translation, Cottrell’s word choice suggests that the panther has chosen to ignore his surroundings.

The weary passage of these bars
has made his gaze an empty stare:
as if the bars were all there are
and that behind them nothing’s there.
Along a nerve, awareness darts -
arriving in his heart, it dies.

The panther’s gaze is described as empty and unseeing, as though his mind his not fully present and is instead daydreaming. He has numbed himself to reality and refuses to accept it. The last two lines suggest that even when the panther is reminded of his captivity, he ignores it and lets the thought die before it can be fully processed.

In the second translation, Kline uses many descriptive to exaggerate how the panther is feeling. The panther’s gaze is so wearied from behind the thousand bars. His powerful, supple stride, that draws him round in tightened circles, is like the dance of force. His will is paralysed, and his limbs are tense and arrested. His translation provides a different perspective of how the panther feels about his captivity. Instead of distancing himself from reality, this panther has accepted it and feels defeated.

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