In order to celebrate poetry month I will be reviewing a series of poetry books and for the first one I chose a whimsical little title about our furry friend, the cat. This collection includes poems about cats from a wide range of poets including Shakespeare, Wordsworth and Dickenson. Thanks so much to the publisher, Andrews McMeel, for granting me an advanced review copy of this title through NetGalley.
Cats are the kind of cute creature that countless creative minds have celebrated in their compositions. The creative minds in this collection capture, through their couplets and verse-chimes, the constant commotion caused by cats. Wordsworth in his poem “The Kitten and Falling Leaves” writes:
But the Kitten, how she starts,
crouches, stretches, paws, and darts!
First at one, and then its fellow,
just as light and just as yellow.
There are many now – now one,
now they stop and there are none:
What intenseness of desire,
in her upward eye of fire!
In the poem “A Cat’s Conscience” the author considers the uncanny characteristic of a cat to ignore it’s conscience, and, unlike their fellow canines, cats do not care if they cause a ruckus, just so long as they don’t get caught!
A dog will often steal a bone,
But conscience lets him not alone,
And by his tail his guilt is known.
But cats consider theft a game,
And, howsoever you may blame,
Refuse the slightest sign of shame.
In conclusion, Christopher Smart (1722-1771) casts the cat as the center of the household. I found this to be one of the most touching of all the poems and the illustration which accompanies it captures the verse perfectly.
Whether you have a clowder of cats or just a couple, this is a great book to keep on your coffee table as a conversation piece. I hope you enjoyed my little attempt at alliteration to capture the playful spirit of these poems. What are you reading for poetry month? For a preview of some additional poetry I will be reviewing click here.