Aunt Jenniferís Tigers


Aunt Jenniferís tigers prance across a screen, [proud way of walking]

Bright topaz denizens of a world of green. [Yellow jewel like the tigers in a forest]

They do not fear the men beneath the tree

[The tigers under the trees can see the hunters there but they do not care about them]

They pace in sleek chivalric certainty.

[They are walking proudly, and their fur is well groomed. Slick: soft shining. Pacing: walking fast, case they are indifferent]


Aunt Jenniferís fingers fluttering through her wool.

[She has a needle in her hand and is drawing the tigers in the embroidery]

Find even the ivory needle hard to pull

[Ivory: elephant husk]

The massive weight of unclesí wedding band

Sits heavy upon Aunt Jenniferís hand

[It is obvious that the husband is controlling her and she fears him, ďthe ring being heavyĒ]


When aunt is dead her terrified hands will lie [afraid of uncle]

Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by [sufferings]

The tigers in the panel that she made [screen]

Will go on prancing proud and unafraid

[The tigers in the screen are opposite to Aunt Jennifer]



Subject: Aunt Jenniferís Tigers


Theme: The oppression of Aunt Jennifer


Tone: sympathy, sorrowful


Speaker: Nephew or Niece


Poet: Adrienne Rich


A little Description of the poem: Aunt Jennifer who is married to a very controlling and freaky guy, whom she is much afraid of, is knitting a picture of magnificent looking proud tigers in a forest that donít even care that hunters are there to kill them. Now this is an opposition to what she feels, since in the picture the tigers look beautiful, and calm, while her hand is terrified and has to bear the heavy weight of the ring, which binds her with Ďuncle.í 


Style of poem: 3 versus each being a quatrain. They rhyme, with an [a,a,b,b,c,c,d,d,e,e,f,f] rhyme scheme. There is no meter.