Monday, January 15, 2018


The Jaguar is from Ted Hughes’ volume of works entitled The Hawn in the Rain (1957). The poem was inspired by a particular caged jaguar which the poet saw while working in Regent’s Park Zoo during the Autumn of 1954.

The Jaguar

The apes yawn and adore their fleas in the sun.
The parrots shriek as if they were on fire, or strut
Like cheap tarts to attract the stroller with the nut.
Fatigued with indolence, tiger and lion
Lie still as the sun. The boa-constrictor’s coil
Is a fossil. Cage after cage seems empty, or
Stinks of sleepers from the breathing straw.
It might be painted on a nursery wall.

But who runs like the rest past these arrives
At a cage where the crowd stands, stares, mesmerized,
As a child at a dream, at a jaguar hurrying enraged
Through prison darkness after the drills of his eyes
On a short fierce fuse. Not in boredom—
The eye satisfied to be blind in fire,
By the bang of blood in the brain deaf the ear—
He spins from the bars, but there’s no cage to him

More than to the visionary his cell:
His stride is wildernesses of freedom:
The world rolls under the long thrust of his heel.
Over the cage floor the horizons come.


The Jaguar stands amongst the best of Hughes' symbolic poems. The poem is basically a description and observation of behaviour of the animals in a zoo. It compares the apes, parrots, tiger, lion and a boa constrictor to the jaguar. However, the best comparison has been made between the Jaguar and the apes. For Hughes the jaguar is a symbol of an idealist revolutionary, on the other hand the apes are the powerless human beings. Although they reside in the same zoo, i.e. “The world”, the difference between these two is remarkable.

The Jaguar is confined in a cage. But as an idealist hero he does not consider himself to be imprisoned. Because in his thought and action he is free on the other hand the apes, being very similar to human beings, are observing him from a distant place. They are timid, not only in their action but in their thought too.

For a person who is free in mind everything is possible. He can never be dominated. So is true to the Jaguar in the poem. However, as it is confined in a zoo, it does not consider the cage his prison. Rather, “As a child, at dream” the Jaguar can find the way of freedom. Since it does not care this temporary prison of the world, a clear invocation of an ideal revolutionary's dream and thought is narrated aptly in the poem.

Text & Main Theme of the poem “The Jaguar”


Post a Comment


android (2) books (23) celebs (37) download (3) info (6) letter format (1) literature (15) medicine (2)

Recent Posts

Recent Posts Widget

Popular Posts