Familiars: Poems

Familiars: Poems

by Fred Chappell

Paperback

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Overview

Solitary, graceful, and contemplative, cats have inspired poets from Charles Baudelaire to Margaret Atwood to serve as their chroniclers and celebrants. They have appeared, wrapped in their inscrutability, in verse both sensual and spiritual, weary and whimsical. With Familiars, Fred Chappell proves himself a worthy addition to the fellowship of poets who have sought to immortalize their beloved cats.

Here are cats as personalities, cats as art objects and historical figures, cats as reflections of human temperament. Chappell salutes the literary cats of decades past — George Herriman's happy-go-lucky Krazy Kat, Don Marquis's grande dame mehitabel — and the imagined cats who claim as their companions the characters from Chappell's own past poems. The cats in Familiars are alert and affectionate, equal parts cherished friends and unknowable mysteries.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807157497
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Publication date: 08/04/2014
Pages: 80
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.20(d)

About the Author

Fred Chappell is the author of twenty-six books of poetry, fiction, and critical commentary. His most recent collection was Shadow Box. A native of Canton in the mountains of western North Carolina, he taught at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro from 1964 to 2004 and was the Poet Laureate of North Carolina from 1997 to 2002. He and his wife, Susan, live in Greensboro.

Table of Contents

Introductory ix

Difference 1

Cynosure 2

Beatitude 3

Emilia Reveal'd 4

Migration 6

Security 7

Shaftesbury 9

Cousin Marjorie 10

The Elect 11

Second Thoughts 12

The Burden of History 13

in re reincarnation 14

Paperweight 16

Ghost Story 17

Cousin Lilias 18

Genius Loci 19

Recognition 20

Passerby 21

Uncle John 22

Hypothecat 23

After Hours 24

Evening Watch 26

Visitor 27

Pillow Talk 29

Ritual 30

Perseverance 32

Rival 33

Tom Juan 34

Jubilate Felis 36

Portals 40

Beside Herself 42

The Navigator 43

Motley 44

Snowflake 45

The Artful Dodger Out of the Bag 46

Nighttime 49

Morris 50

Morris Revisited 51

Window Seat 52

Solo Cello 53

Duet 53

Tails 54

Rondo 57

New Years Eve 58

Time Piece 59

Dark Star 61

The Acrophile 62

The Burrower 63

Lady Graye 64

Presence 64

White Out 65

The Animals of Heaven 66

What People are Saying About This

Kathryn Stripling-Byer

"Being a dog lover, I've long considered cats little more than arrogant annoyances, making me sneeze whenever they deign to draw nigh, then dismissing me altogether after a leisurely kneading of my lap as I sit on their sofas, unable to appreciate their poetic gifts of subtlety and innuendo. But no more. Thanks to Fred Chappell's Familiars, I am now an ardent admirer of the magnificent cats who inhabit the elegant and inventive verse through which Chappell brings them to life. These poems make no attempt whatever to herd their idiosyncratic subjects into predictable poetic enclosures. They are as crafty and unpredictable as their insouciant subjects, the brilliance of their poetic mastery a testimony to the irresistible creativity of cats and the poet who pays them homage in this glorious collection of poems." — Kathryn Stripling Byer, author of Descent

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