A TIGER IN THE ZOO BY LESLIE NORRIS
This poem contrasts a tiger in the zoo with the tiger in its natural habitat. The poem moves from the zoo to the jungle, and back again to the zoo. Read the poem silently once, and say which stanzas speak about the tiger in the zoo, and which ones speak about the tiger in the jungle.
He stalks in his vivid stripes
The few steps of his cage,
On pads of velvet quiet,
In his quiet rage.
He should be lurking in shadow,
Sliding through long grass
Near the water hole
Where plump deer pass.
He should be snarling around houses
At the jungle’s edge,
Baring his white fangs, his claws,
Terrorising the village!
But he’s locked in a concrete cell,
His strength behind bars,
Stalking the length of his cage,
He hears the last voice at night,
The patrolling cars,
And stares with his brilliant eyes
At the brilliant stars.