Randall Jarrell

(May 6, 1914 – October 14, 1965 / Nashville)

Previous Month November 2014 Next Month
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Modern Poem of The Day
Select a day from the calendar.
Would you like to see the poem of the day in your e-mail box every morning?
Your email address:
  Subscribe FREE
  Unsubscribe

The Woman At The Washington Zoo


The saris go by me from the embassies.

Cloth from the moon. Cloth from another planet.
They look back at the leopard like the leopard.

And I. . . .
this print of mine, that has kept its color
Alive through so many cleanings; this dull null
Navy I wear to work, and wear from work, and so
To my bed, so to my grave, with no
Complaints, no comment: neither from my chief,
The Deputy Chief Assistant, nor his chief--
Only I complain. . . . this serviceable
Body that no sunlight dyes, no hand suffuses
But, dome-shadowed, withering among columns,
Wavy beneath fountains--small, far-off, shining
In the eyes of animals, these beings trapped
As I am trapped but not, themselves, the trap,
Aging, but without knowledge of their age,
Kept safe here, knowing not of death, for death--
Oh, bars of my own body, open, open!

The world goes by my cage and never sees me.
And there come not to me, as come to these,
The wild beasts, sparrows pecking the llamas' grain,
Pigeons settling on the bears' bread, buzzards
Tearing the meat the flies have clouded. . . .
Vulture,
When you come for the white rat that the foxes left,
Take off the red helmet of your head, the black
Wings that have shadowed me, and step to me as man:
The wild brother at whose feet the white wolves fawn,
To whose hand of power the great lioness
Stalks, purring. . . .
You know what I was,
You see what I am: change me, change me!

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: change, work, brother, death, power, moon, red, woman, world, animal, women

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Woman At The Washington Zoo by Randall Jarrell )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie - 759 Points Lamont Palmer (11/3/2013 2:44:00 AM)

    Such a great poem by the greatest critic of the 20th century. If one wants to learn to write competent poetry, this man is the one to read and study; not just his poems but the provocative things he says about poems. -LP (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. A memory in a watch, nicholas sardinha
  2. THOUSAND MOONS, Satish Verma
  3. Where Larkspur Have The Purple Winds Gat.., mary douglas
  4. Rising For Another Day, Michael McParland
  5. The head, gajanan mishra
  6. Tobacco use, hasmukh amathalal
  7. Mystery of love, Chiazo Egbukwu
  8. Complete homes, hasmukh amathalal
  9. Landfill, Phil Soar
  10. W-a-t-c-h! Fury online movie free full s.., afandi azhaa

Poem of the Day

poet Charles Stuart Calverley

He stood, a worn-out City clerk —
Who'd toil'd, and seen no holiday,
For forty years from dawn to dark —
Alone beside Caermarthen Bay.
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. I, Too, Langston Hughes
  3. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  4. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  7. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  8. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  9. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  10. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]