friday feast: meowish metaphors

“A dog, I have always said, is prose; a cat is a poem.” ~ Jean Burden

Robert S./flickr

I’ve just slipped into my black cat suit so I can channel my inner feline. So far this morning, I’ve batted the air, leapt to the top of the refrigerator, took several serious naps, and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d good, l – o – n – g stretches.

Are you impressed by my grace and agility? My stealth moves and “aren’t you lucky to be in my presence” cattitude?

Oh, I am sooooooooo sleek. You may pet me.

*admires whiskers*

Yes, Halloween is coming, but did you know National Cat Day is exactly one week away, on October 29th? Of course we’re going to celebrate here at alphabet soup by featuring several uber-cool cats, along with the authors and/or illustrators who live with them. Me-ow!

But for now, let’s paws for a bit of purrfect poetry.

When it comes to cats, the first poem I usually think of is Sandburg’s “Fog”:

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Such a brilliant metaphor! Here’s another poem that does something similar, only in extended form (of course, I love the pivotal role food plays in the resolution):



by Erica Jong

Sometimes the poem
doesn’t want to come;
it hides from the poet
like a playful cat
who has run
under the house
& lurks among slugs,
roots, spiders’ eyes,
ledge so long out of the sun
that it is dank
with the breath of the Troll King.

Sometimes the poem
darts away
like a coy lover
who is afraid of being possessed,
of feeling too much,
of losing his essential
loneliness-which he calls

Sometimes the poem
can’t requite
the poet’s passion.

(Rest is here.)

Pretty cool, no? *licks chops with rough pink tongue*

Dèsirèe Tonus/flickr

(memory, all alone in the moonlight)


cat suit or natural fur
brush or catacomb
clean litter box
Andrew Lloyd Webber music
tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, etc.
pen and paper
fog horn, optional

1. Don your best fur; groom yourself thoroughly.

2. Make a pot of your favorite pasta sauce, set to simmer.

3. Kill the mariachi band.

4. Limber up, read a few good poems.

5. Write your heart. Better yet, BE the poem.

6. Seduce the mews.

Regale your friends with trochees and tails. Enjoy!☺

Today’s Roundup is being hosted by Andi at a wrung sponge.

See you next Friday for National Cat Day!

Calico, jellicle, tabby. Shorthair, longhair, tom. Siamese, Javanese, Persian. Catnip, catnap, catkin . . .

Winchester lives with author Candice Ransom. More about him next week!

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.