Poem Analysis: The Black Cat

Topics: Rainer Maria Rilke, Poetry, Color Pages: 1 (332 words) Published: April 22, 2015
 “The Black Cat”
A common object or animal can be compared to something endless, dark, and unknown. In Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem, she uses the comparison of a black cat to an idea of death and paranormal beings. The way she starts the poem brings up the mystery of the idea of ghosts. She compares death to a black cat, which uses the idea that the color represents something within itself. It represents the idea of an object being colorless or dark. It creates the mood of darkness and being dreary. Rilke uses the word “echoing” which creates the idea that it is ongoing but slowly fades away until it disappears. In the second stanza, Rainer Maria compares the ghost to a madman who is going crazy. Nothing seems to be able to calm him down, just as nothing can make the dead heard. It introduces the idea that no matter if the dead cannot be heard or seen, it is still felt. The ghost, in the third stanza, suggests that she is now the audience and she is now the one watching and judging the performance. At the end of the third stanza, the last phrase “But all at once” creates the impression that the reader and the ghost switch places. The reader can see themselves in the eyes of what used to be the ghost. The reader sees themselves in the eyes like a “prehistoric fly”. The reader seems to be prehistoric, that they no longer exist. Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem “The Black Cat” has an endless and dark unknown. The comparison can go on forever. The darkness of death and ghosts are like the common black cat. The common black cat creates a creepy tone and a sort of dreary feeling in the air, along with the idea of the unknown presence of a ghost. People can see the black cat walking around amongst the population, but they cannot see the ghost on the same ground as the cat.
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