Today’s Rilke poem is called The Panther, a vivid picture of a caged animal where the world becomes smaller and smaller and the cat loses all sense of connection, but for a brief moment at the end, which then fades away.
I thought at first of writing about the zoo. I lived not far from one as a child, an old-style zoo before attempts were made to duplicate an animal’s natural environment. But it didn’t quite work for me today. Nor did a poem about my own cat. He is often the subject of my poems, but on a lighter note. And then it occurred to me that depression might be like a cage of sorts. That inspired this poem:
Jan. 12, 2014 –CAS
When my mind is caught
in a cycle of worry
it is like Rilke’s caged panther,
thoughts move in circles,
tighter and tighter, where
nothing penetrates but fear.