Rilke, The Panther; Ted Hughes, The Jaguar

Reading Rilke’s “The Panther” in Stephen Mitchell’s translation it struck me that Ted Hughes’s “The Jaguar” may well have been written as an answer to it, the two poems seem to oppose each other so directly. I wish I’d thought of this when I was teaching Hughes or using his poetry as a springboard for boys’ own writing.

You can find a compendium of translations of Rilke’s poem at .The Mitchell version is one of the last.

I won’t give a link to the Hughes – there’s something depressing about the sheer number of online explanations of “The Jaguar”, especially for a blogger. It makes my brain feel numbed, like Ralph’s in The Lord of the Flies when he sees the vast waves passing on the unfriendly side of the island, and almost collapses under a sense of his own insignificance.


Leave a Reply