The bear puts both arms around the tree above her
And draws it down as if it were a lover
And its choke cherries lips to kiss good-bye,
Then lets it snap back upright in the sky.
Her next step rocks a boulder on the wall
(She’s making her cross-country in the fall).
Her great weight creaks the barbed-wire in its staples
As she flings over and off down through the maples,
Leaving on one wire moth a lock of hair.
Such is the uncaged progress of the bear.
The world has room to make a bear feel free;
The universe seems cramped to you and me.
Man acts more like the poor bear in a cage
That all day fights a nervous inward rage~
His mood rejecting all his mind suggests.
He paces back and forth and never rests
The me-nail click and shuffle of his feet,
The telescope at one end of his beat~
And at the other end the microscope,
Two instruments of nearly equal hope,
And in conjunction giving quite a spread.
Or if he rests from scientific tread,
‘Tis only to sit back and sway his head
Through ninety odd degrees of arc, it seems,
Between two metaphysical extremes.
He sits back on his fundamental butt
With lifted snout and eyes (if any) shut,
(lie almost looks religious but he’s not),
And back and forth he sways from cheek to cheek,
At one extreme agreeing with one Greek~
At the other agreeing with another Greek
Which may be thought, but only so to speak.
A baggy figure, equally pathetic
When sedentary and when peripatetic.

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

3 Comments

  1. Madalyn says:

    What is the purpose ofthis poem? I just need it put into simple words for myself to understand it. I love the outline of the poem just don’t really understand it.

  2. with held says:

    jamie,
    This poem has a lot to it!! just remember that you can analyze it any way you want you just need to have support from the text!

  3. Earl Palmer says:

    I love this poem. It is fun and challenging to memorize. There are a few typos as printed.
    “Leaving on one wire moth a lock of hair.” should be “on one tooth..”
    “The me-nail click and shuffle of his feet,”should be “the toenail click…”
    “(lie almost looks religious but he’s not),” should be “he almost looks…”

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