The Jaguar

The Jaguar

Ursula K. Le Guin

the ghost of a jaguar walks through the fence
the jaguar is our freedom

a friend gave me a precious thing
a little fragment of the Berlin wall

but this wall they are building
straight across my heartland

with our flag draped across it
is the coffin of my country

hands reach through the gaps
to clasp, until the gaps are sealed

and even music
cannot get through

but only the ghosts
of all we have betrayed

this is the wall of lamentation
the grave of the jaguar

17 July 2017




A Border Fence Blurred Through Art

by Erica Berenstein and Fernanda Santos

The New York Times


About Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin is a founding member of Book View Cafe. Her most recent BVC ebook is MY LIFE SO FAR, BY PARD, translated from the Feline by UKL. Library of America is publishing Hainish Novels and Stories and a number of her other books.
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4 Responses to The Jaguar

  1. John Platt says:

    Haunting and powerful. Thank you.

  2. Adam says:

    Since the invention of walls people have gone over, under, and through them.
    I believe this fact defines human nature more profoundly than the walls ever will.

  3. John McKean says:

    Haunting but also a challenge for us all. This is a wall that tears through the hearts of many of us in this country, but we must seek out healing from the gift of words and music that have been shared with us. Thank you for all this and more!

  4. Santa says:

    Jaguar in Bosnian:

    utvara jaguara prolazi kroz ogradu
    jaguar je naša sloboda

    prijatelj mi je dao dragocjenu stvar
    mali komad Berlinskog zida

    ali ovaj zid koji podižu
    pravo preko srca zemlje moje

    ukrašen našom zastavom kao prekrivkom
    to je mrtva?ki sanduk za moju zemlju

    ruke se pružaju kroz pukotine
    i stiš?u se sve dok se pukotine ne za?epe

    pa ni muzika kroz njih
    više ne prodire

    ve? samo utvare
    svih koje smo iznevjerili

    ovo je zid naricanja
    jaguarov grob

    Translation: Santa, Sarajevo