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The Great Cat: Poems about Cats

Overview

This delightful anthology gives us a teeming litter of literary tributes to the ever-fascinating, ever-mystifying cat.

The feline has inspired poetic adoration since the days of the pharaohs, and the poems collected here cover an astonishing range of periods, cultures, and styles. Poets across the continents and centuries have described the feline family–from kittens to old toms, pussycats to panthers–doing what they do best: sleeping, prowling, prancing, purring, sleeping some ...

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Overview

This delightful anthology gives us a teeming litter of literary tributes to the ever-fascinating, ever-mystifying cat.

The feline has inspired poetic adoration since the days of the pharaohs, and the poems collected here cover an astonishing range of periods, cultures, and styles. Poets across the continents and centuries have described the feline family–from kittens to old toms, pussycats to panthers–doing what they do best: sleeping, prowling, prancing, purring, sleeping some more, and gazing disdainfully at lesser beings like ourselves. Here are Yeats’s Minnaloushe, Christopher Smart’s Jeoffry, Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat, T. S. Eliot’s Rum Tum Tugger, William Blake’s tyger and Rilke’s panther. Here are tributes from Sufi mystics, medieval Chinese poets, and haiku masters of imperial Japan, from Chaucer, Shelley, Borges, Neruda, Dickinson, and Shakespeare. Here are the cats of Mother Goose, and the one who wore the hat for Dr. Seuss.

The Great Cat will delight cat lovers everywhere, celebrating as it does the beauty, the mystery, the gravity, the grace, and, of course, the unassailable superiority of the cat.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400043347
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/3/2005
  • Series: Everyman's Library Pocket Poets
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 674,084
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Emily Fragos is a poet who lives in New York City. Her first book of poems, Little Savage, won the David Craig Austin Prize from Columbia University. She edited the Everyman's Library Pocket Poet anthology The Great Cat: Poems About Cats.
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Table of Contents

From The seventy-five praises of Ra 19
Chang Tuan's cats 20
Cat 21
From Jubilate Agno 23
Hodge, the cat 28
A lion in winter 31
White cats 35
From The Divan-i Kabir 36
The spring is a cat 36
The cat show 37
White cat blues 38
Without violence 39
The singing cat 40
At the grave of Elizabeth Bishop 42
The tyger 44
The cat's eye 46
The cat 46
'Ultra-pink peony' 46
Black cat 49
To a cat 50
The cats will know 51
The cat 53
The rabbit as king of the ghosts 55
The thing about cats 57
Cat 59
The panther 61
The sphinx 62
Cat scat 67
The cats of Greece 68
The cat of the house 69
The vain cat 70
Sisterhood 71
From Cat 73
'Cat, you tumble down the street' 74
The cats of St. Nicholas 75
Magic cats 78
The cat and the moon 83
Every cat had a story 85
Poem 86
The Cheshire cat 87
This is my chair 88
The cat and the wind 89
Cat 90
From The cat in the hat 91
Cat jacks 92
The cats of Kilkenny 93
Nine fat cats in Little Italy 94
Pangur Ban 97
Morning 99
Apartment cats 100
From To a cat 101
From The spinster's sweet-arts 102
From Dame Wiggins of Lee and her seven wonderful cats 104
From Two songs of a fool 106
The flying petunias 107
Who will feed my cat? 108
Cat in an empty apartment 109
From The cat and the cock 111
The cats have come to tea 112
The cat 115
The lover, whose mistresse feared a mouse, declareth that he would become a cat if he might have his desire 116
My cat and I 118
Propriety 119
Pussycat sits on a chair 119
An appeal to cats in the business of love 120
'Arise from sleep, old cat' 121
'Why so scrawny, cat?' 121
'Amorous cat, alas' 121
The cats of Balthus 122
Cats 124
Alley cat love song 125
A lost painting by Balthus 126
Woman and cat 127
The owl and the pussy-cat 128
Curse of the cat woman 130
Lullaby for the cat 135
The happy cat 136
Cat on the mat 137
Cat's dream 138
From Peter 140
Cat 141
Cats sleep fat 142
Catsnest 143
Cat & the weather 144
Verses on a cat 149
Five eyes 151
The cat 152
'Pussy-cat, pussy-cat' 153
'There was a wee bit mousikie' 153
The rat-catcher and cats 154
By threes, by fours 156
'Lat take a cat' (from The Maunciple's tale) 157
Cat and mouse 157
'My hermitage' 158
The old cat and the young mouse 159
Cat 160
Forest 160
The lazy pussy 161
'She sights a bird' 162
A cat 163
Song of the lioness for her cub 164
Catnip and dogwood 167
The prayer of the cat 168
The single creature 169
A cat's conscience 170
Mother Tabbyskins 171
I married my dog 175
'Confound the cats!' 179
A fable of the widow and her cat 180
The cat and the lute 183
From Sad memories 185
Justice 186
To Mrs. Professor in defense of my cat's honor and not only 187
From The churlyshe cat 189
Epitaph 190
From The kitten and falling leaves 193
Chaplinesque 195
The young cat and the chrysanthemums 196
Beware of kittens 197
Familiarity dangerous 198
From Through the looking glass 199
Dawn 199
Pinkle purr 200
The three little kittens 201
From The kitten 203
To a cat 207
On a cat, ageing 208
Hoppy 209
A 14-year-old convalescent cat in the winter 211
Montague Michael 212
Cat 213
December cats 213
My old cat dances 214
Esther's tomcat 215
From Nine lives 217
Putting down the cat 221
On the death of a cat 222
From Song for mourning a cat 223
From Cold mountain poems 224
An offering for the cat 225
On the death of a cat, a friend of mine aged ten years and a half 226
From Matthias 228
Ode on the death of a favourite cat, drowned in a tub of goldfishes 229
Last words to a dumb friend 231
As you were saying 234
From Chansons innocents 235
The blue bowl 236
The epitaph of Felis 237
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