Aunt Jennifer¡¦s Tigers (pg.620)
This poem gave me a combination of two feelings. One was the healthy and strong tiger full of energy and vitality while the another image was a week, weary old lady who was bound by the handcuffs. To look at the pattern of this poem, a neat, or strict, arrangement could be clearly seen of the four rhyming lines stanzas. In my own opinion I like to read the poem in rhyming and in well arrangement because I think it is more complex and difficult to express fully one¡¦s thought with the restriction of using words. If one can do it, it is very beautiful. But there may be a problem that some of the sentences may be meaningless for just the purpose of rhyming. But I know the famous poets surely would not be like that. Actually this was a problem I met in writing a so-called ¡§Chinese poem¡¨ in the Bulletin Board System (BBS). And I found there was some annotations of the poem published in the following pages. But I did not so love at watching the annotations of the poem. It was very true for me to understand it more deeply and clearly what the poet wanted to say. And being a ¡§poet¡¨ (in BBS), I also wanted there would be a person fully understand what I wanted to say just by watching my words. It was very touching. Each of the words in a poem would have its own special meaning and was the essence of the literature. For example, the use of the word ¡§ringed¡¨ is a pun that the writer specially chose.
At the descriptions of the ¡§Aunt Jennifer¡¦s tiger¡¨ of the first stanza shows this tiger was energetic, beautiful, smart, full of confidence and brave to fight with everything. The ¡§screen¡¨ mentioned I thought was the restrictions of the society to a woman (female) and it seemed to be a threshold for Aunt Jennifer¡¦s tiger. But this tiger showed nothing of fear at all. It paced smoothly and casually in front of men. This stanza might be the descriptions of the way of her writing. She did not afraid of the pressure from the society and wanted to say what she thought was true (the opinions about the feminist issues and the lesbian politics.)
A hundred and eighty degrees turn appeared in the second stanza. The weak and old Aunt Jennifer image was revealed by the fine descriptions of Aunt Jennifer¡¦s hand. ¡§Fluttering through the wool¡¨ but ¡§hard to pull¡¨ ¡§even the ivory needle¡¨. A pity scene of an old woman kept in the house and could only do something of the embroidery. And the load from the marriage (his husband) made her (especially her hand )cannot move at all. This stanza might to say that the role of being a wife gave Aunt Jennifer a lot of restrictions and that made her could not do anything she wanted about writing.
The last stanza had reached to the deepest point of sad. The pressure from the marriage and the role of a mother would add on the Aunt Jennifer¡¦s hand forever even ¡§When Aunt is dead¡¨. But the enthusiastic heart of writing in the Aunt Jennifer¡¦s body would never die. The ¡§proud and unafraid¡¨ tiger ¡§will go on prancing¡¨.