"On the Death of a Cat"

I'm fairly sure this was written with an eye to Gray's "Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat." It's one of the lighter pieces in the book of Wright's poetry that I'm reading now. I laughed a little at the way he talked about the cat's life spent sleeping, and with the tender description at the end, and its quiet feel, I think it's a very fitting tribute for a cat.

On the Death of a Cat
In life, death
was nothing
to you: I am

willing to wager
my soul that it
simply never occurrred

to your nightmareless
mind, while sleep
was everything

(see it raised
to an infinite
power and perfection)--no death

in you then, so now
how even less. Dear stealth
of innocence

licked polished
to an evil
luster, little

milk fang, whiskered
night
friend--

go.

- Franz Wright

A Year of Reading hosts this Friday's poetry round-up.

10 comments:

Mary Lee 7/26/2008 5:50 AM  

Sleep was everything to my ancient cat at the end. The new cat is my whiskered night friend.

Edge 7/26/2008 8:23 AM  

Oh! very interesting.

Nerd Goddess 7/26/2008 1:39 PM  

Oooh, I like it. :)

Also, saw your comment on Scott Westerfeld's blog, and I echoed your sentiments that GG has a great opening line.

Sookie 7/26/2008 8:02 PM  

My cat ran away :-(, so unfortunately I have no idea what end she will come to--though I hope she's okay.
Anyway, I think you'll really enjoy Trouble I'm enjoying it now. I really want to know what Lizzie Bright is about.

Cuileann 7/27/2008 9:23 PM  

Nerd Goddess - Shan-fans are so poised to take over the world...

Oh, I'm really sorry, Sookie! :( It'd be easier for me to have a pet die than run away, I think...

odessa 7/27/2008 10:29 PM  

i really like this poem. thanks for sharing!

Sarah Louise 7/30/2008 8:34 AM  

poetry makes me smile. Thanks.

Anonymous 7/30/2008 11:19 PM  

But you left out that last (one-word) stanza of "On the Death of a Cat"-- : "go".

cuileann 8/01/2008 12:53 PM  

Thank you, Anon! I'm not sure how I missed that!

sui 11/03/2011 4:06 PM  

oh, pretty.

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