I need help with the structure of the poem "Pet Panther." And, when looking for the metaphors in the poem, would "it will if idle make trouble where there was no harm" and "will wind itself tight around the pulse" be considered metaphors?

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"Pet Panther" by A. R. Ammons is essentially an extended metaphor . As such, most of the descriptions within it function as metaphors because of the way that the poem is set up. To begin, let's talk about what a metaphor is. A metaphor is a comparison between two unalike...

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"Pet Panther" by A. R. Ammons is essentially an extended metaphor. As such, most of the descriptions within it function as metaphors because of the way that the poem is set up. To begin, let's talk about what a metaphor is. A metaphor is a comparison between two unalike things that does not use the words "like" or "as." If the comparison between two unalike things does use the words "like" or "as," it is known as a simile. Of the two, a metaphor tends to be more powerful because it is saying one thing is another, rather than one thing is like another.

The poem sets up the extended metaphor from the very first line. Ammons writes,

My attention is a wild
animal: it will if idle
make trouble where there
was no harm (1–4)

This passage also includes the first quote in question: "it will if idle / make trouble where there / was no harm." Because the poet begins the poem by stating, "My attention is a wild animal," the pronoun "it" in line two refers back to "attention," which we have been told is "a wild animal." Attention itself cannot "make trouble where there is no harm," but a wild animal could. Similarly, the second quote, "it will wind itself tight / around the pulse" (7–8) is also a metaphor, because it is still referencing the initial metaphor that started the poem.

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