I wrote ‘Sovereign’ after a trip to Marwell Zoo in the South of England during the mid 1990s.
There was a black panther there who walked the fence of her cage constantly, despite its size.
I like Marwell because of its size but there was something particularly sad about this panther.
At first I thought I was writing a poem purely about that experience but I wasn’t. It was about much more. It was about imperialism, oppression and the destruction of cultures.