Jaguar

“Jaguar” is a poem which shows the similarities between living things and material objects. In this case this poem compares the animal feline and the car brand Jaguar. It is a very peculiar poem, because the poet doesn’t tell us when he is talking about one or the other, and almost always talks about both using the same words.

This poem is in a depressing tone, using depressive words like “agonisingly.” This is also a very ambiguous poem, with lots of double meaning quotes, which helps us to picture what is being described which can always mean that the poet is talking about the animal or the car. We can notice this in practically all the poem.

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The poet uses different types of quotes, and I’m firstly going to talk about the quotes which talk about the jaguar’s appearance. The first two words of the poem start to confuse us; because it says “sleek bodied.” This can mean that the car’s structure is shiny and smooth, but it can also mean that the animal’s body is also shiny and smooth. Another image quote is “steel-muscled,” which can mean that the animal has a very strong body, or simply the car’s structure which is made of steel.

Another type of quote we can see in this poem are sound quotes. We can see specially three quotes with a sound meaning that animals or cars can make. One of these is “full-throated roar,” that can mean that the car is making a hard noise, and that the animal is shouting very loudly.

The opposite of this last quote is “purring gently,” which is when the animal or the car is making a soft noise. Another double meaning sound phrase is “engine ticking over.” This can mean that the car’s engine is making a constant tick noise and that the animal’s heart is beating loudly.

In these two last quotes (“purring gently” and “engine ticking over”) I can appreciate that the situation in that moment of the poem is of silence and nervousness, because if we can hear a gentle purr or the engine or heart of a car or an animal, I think that the situation is of tension because something important is going to happen.

There are also some quotes which are more likely to mean that the poet is talking about the animal or the car. When it says “twisted sinews,” I feel that the poet is talking about the animal, because sinews are tendons, and only living things have tendons, but in the other hand it could also mean the car’s interior structure. “Moves into first gear,” is more likely to talk about the car, because only vehicles have gears, but it could also mean that the animal starts to move when it was stopped.

A very significant word the poet uses throughout the poem is “she.” We see the poet treating the jaguar, car or animal, as a female person. This can have several meanings, such as that the car and the animal have many curves in their structure or body, like women, which have curves.

It can also mean that poet could feel lonely, and treats an animal or a car like a women, to comfort his loneliness in a way.

This poem ends with a very special stanza: “and I wonder, with my dying breath, that this superb machine was built for death.” This sentence gives the poem a very good ending, telling us that both animals and cars could be very nice and very joyful, but they are always danger. This quote summarises the poem very well.

Finishing with the quotes, I am going to talk about the presentation of the poem in the page. This poem is divided into 5 stanzas, a high number of stanzas, and I think this is to stop us and think about what the poem is telling us. These stanzas have different lengths. The verses are also always of different lengths, and a particular thing of this poem is that at the end of practically all the verses, finish with a punctuation sign like commas or full stops, which pauses you when you are reading it. I think that this is for us to stop and think and make an image of what the poem is telling us also, because it is a very complicated poem. I also think that this is to make you feel that bad things such as accidents in this case, happen very slowly for the person living it, which is the relativity theory: good things seem to happen very quickly, and bad things seem to happen very slowly.

As a conclusion for this, I would say that this poem shocked me because I would never think that at the beginning of the poem, the poem could be about a car and an animal, and I think that the poet has really done a perfect comparison. Also I could say that the poet gives us a direct message, that nothing lasts forever, neither objects nor living things. I can also say that this is the most perfect poem I have ever read, because it makes a very good comparison without giving any clue of when he is talking about one thing or another, and it has really impressed me.