His gaze has grown so weary from the passing
Of bars that there is nothing it can hold.
There seem to be a thousand bars about him,
And, out beyond a thousand bars, no world.
The mellowed stride of sleekly powered footsteps
Revolving in the smallest ring of all
Is like a dance of strength about a center
Wherein a mighty will stands numbed in thrall.
Only at times the pupil's soundless curtain
Is reeled away, letting an image start
Inward through the taut silence of his sinews
And come to nothing in the heart.
|Bead loomed cuff - Black Panther|
Obviously I'm not a poet myself, and it was hard to choose a translation for this poem by Rainer Maria Rilke from the ones I found. This is the one that spoke to me the most.
It's a translation by A. Z. Foreman that I found on his blog Poems Found in Translation.
You can also find the original there.