Ted Hughes’ ‘The Jaguar’, as re-imagined by a male feminist, in the style of Scroobius Pip

A little break from education-related posting. I have been teaching a lovely class of year 7 girls about poetry while on placement, and revisited an old favourite of mine with them: The Jaguar, by Ted Hughes. I’ve also been listening to Scroobius Pip’s album Distraction Pieces and generally thinking a lot about feminism recently. Somehow, while waiting at the traffic lights this morning this started forming in my head, because thought-foxes don’t only strike on quiet, snowy evenings. Anyway – I have nothing else to do with it…so here it is (You can also hear it at Spoken):

Ted Hughes’ ‘The Jaguar’, as re-imagined by a male feminist, in the style of Scroobius Pip

The apes adore themselves and in the sun they think of breeding
While uncritically consuming, without question, fleas the media
Puts on them: keep on scratching; don’t start thinking; keep on shrieking —
While the alpha dogs keep lying to their minds that keep on sleeping

There are champions in digital high definition streams
Saving people, crushing evil, swinging heroes, screen to screen
Standing for the little man, the lovely little ladies cry,
Half our dreams are brought to life, the better half are raped or die

Iron John McClane is beating on his hollow, tinny chest
In a loin cloth in the forest chanting “Father Must Know Best!”
But the jaguar is stalking and has set her sights on prey
And will devour foil hat prophets who are standing in her way

Under her foot the world still turns, not by her power only
But because it must, and change will come, we just don’t want it slowly
The rising of the jaguar won’t mean the sinking of the Ark
Containing sons of other beasts, left cowering in the dark

The cage long busted open but we sit behind the bars
Idly spouting archetypes about them: Lovely Venus, Warlike Mars
Jaguar will not be bound by cosmic nonsense or be told
That half the world’s not owed to her: it’s not for others to withhold.

Ted Hughes’ ‘The Jaguar’, as re-imagined by a male feminist, in the style of Scroobius Pip