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But he’s locked in a concrete cell,
His strength behind bars,
Stalking the length of his cage,
Ignoring visitors.
He hears the last voice at night,
The patrolling cars,
And stares with his brilliant eyes
At the brilliant stars.
The second and third stanzas of the poem detail the possible events and actions that the tiger could have done if he was free. The fourth stanza brings the readers back to the reality that the tiger is still within the cage. He is locked in a concrete cell. The poet uses the word concrete to emphasise the fact that it is not even a cage which is half-open so that the tiger smells and sees the outer world. Rather it is a concrete cell with brick walls that makes it a closed space. A mighty animal like the tiger, whose strength is beyond description, is wasted away for no reason behind a cage. Now he is stalking the length of his cage in the sense that his space is very much restricted within the confines of the cage. Even when we consider the tiger as the strongest animal, his strength does not help in breaking the chains that bound him. This shows that every pride and strength has a limitation. But even in the weakest of the times, there always remains one tiny bit of space/ way where one can show their strength. The tiger does not pay any attention to the visitors, and within the four walls, he is the boss. He blatantly ignores the people who have come to see him making them crave his attention.
Patrol car
The poet describing about visitors and patrol cars gives the space the appearance of the zoo. After having a lot of visitors, the tiger is tired, and the last sound that he hears is the sound of the patrolling cars of the zoo that come to check if everything is in order. The irony is that nothing is in order as they have acted against nature. This is the last thing the tiger hears, and it gives him a sense of nostalgia of his natural habitat. It is night, and he is alone as he is not disturbed by human beings anymore. In this precious alone time, the tiger, who is brilliant and not lesser than any human being, stares at the sky. There is a sense of yearning to go back home, and the stars are the only connecting point because it is common to everyone. He probably wonders if anyone from the forest was looking at the stars at the same time, and this is his way of communication.
Meaning of difficult words:
ConcreteExisting in material form
PatrollingWalking around to supervise
 HabitatA place to live
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. A Tiger in the Zoo - Leslie Norris (pp. 29-31). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.