Animal Friends Blog
Here at Animal Friends HQ we recently received a lovely surprise in the post – a beautiful little book of cat poems called (handily) Cat Poems, recently published by Serpent’s Tail.
It’s a handy compendium of very quotable poems about our feline companions from some of the world’s greatest authors. The book contains a range of poems, from authors such as Muriel Spark and Angela Carter to the Chinese poet Jung Tzu, Franz Kafka and Baudelaire.
As befits an office full of animal lovers, we couldn’t wait to dip into it because it is perfect for that – a small book full of poetic gems to savour.
Addressing cathood in all its glory
This book addresses the many aspects of cathood, primarily the fact that many of us humans are fully obsessed with them. The internet, after all, was really created for them. Their sleek elegance and beauty fascinates us as does their independence and perceived indifference to us, as captured in this poem:
“Cat sentimentality is a human thing. Cats / are indifferent, their minds can’t comprehend / the concept “I shall die”, they just go on living”.
(from “Sonnet: Cat Logic” by Gavin Ewart)
Of course we know that if you think your cat is being indifferent it isn’t their fault, it’s yours – which is just as it should be. As we all know, anything that is incorrect is always the fault of the humans – cats glide serenely by, pitying our oafishness as they slink through our lives.
Emily Dickinson makes an appearance in her poem “She Sights a Bird” which is eerily evocative of a cat’s hunting actions.
“She sights a Bird-she chuckles- / She flattens-then she crawls- / She runs without the look of feet- / Her eyes increase to Balls-“.
The book is even brave enough to include a poem that claims,
“There are too many poems / About cats. Beware of cat / Lovers, they have a hidden / Frustration somewhere and will / Stick you with it if they can”.
As a cat owner/slave I don’t think there canbe too many poems about cats in the world. Although perhaps the frustration alluded to has dissipated in a world obsessed with cats and how to share images and stories about them. Images and videos of domestic cats make up the most viewed content on the web. Nowadays although we might write fewer poems than we used to, we certainly make up for it in cat videos/photos/blogs all over the web.
The perfect gift for cat-lovers everywhere
This is a gorgeously-produced, pocket-sized book that can be dipped into and enjoyed by everyone. It’s an excellent gift for a cat-lover as the poems in it strive to capture pen portraits of our love and affection for cats over time. Take a look for yourself and see if the poetry captures the magic of one of the closer human-animal bonds we have.
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