Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Morning Poetry

for Jeffrey...


may have killed the cat; more likely
the cat was just unlucky, or else curious
to see what death was like, having no cause
to go on licking paws, or fathering
litter on litter of kittens, predictably.

Nevertheless, to be curious
is dangerous enough. To distrust
what is always said, what seems
to ask odd questions, interfere in dreams,
leave home, smell rats, have hunches
do not endear cats to those doggy circles
where well-smelt baskets, suitable wives, good lunches
are the order of things, and where prevails
much wagging of incurious heads and tails.

Face it. Curiosity
will not cause us to die--
only lack of it will.
Never to want to see
the other side of the hill
or that improbable country
where living is an idyll
(although a probable hell)
would kill us all.

Only the curious have, if they live, a tale
worth telling at all.

Dogs say cats love too much, are irresponsible,
are changeable, marry too many wives,
desert their children, chill all dinner tables
with tales of their nine lives.
Well, they are lucky. Let them be
nine-lived and contradictory,
curious enough to change, prepared to pay
the cat price, which is to die
and die again and again,
each time with no less pain.
A cat minority of one
is all that can be counted on
to tell the truth. And what cats have to tell
on each return from hell
is this: that dying is what the living do,
that dying is what the loving do,
and that dead dogs are those who do not know
that dying is what, to live, each has to do.

~ Alistair Reid


Rita said...

Love your poem and the picture of Gopti.

Anali said...

Love this! Curiosity is what propels us forward as humans. What if Einstein hadn't been curious? What if nobody ever said what if?

At the very least, the music that I'm listening to would not exist. There would be no computers, no blogs. Curiosity is the spark of invention and creativity.

Ms. K @ Write On Thyme said...

Very well said. Love your Sunday morning poetry! Hope you are now enjoying a relaxing Sunday!

Char said...

gorgeous pet portrait

JoLyn said...

I've never heard it before, but I totally enjoyed it. You're turning me into a poetry lover!

And I love your kitty portrait -- great shot!

Erin Wallace said...

This is a great poem accompanied by a wonderful photo. I love the first stanza. Excellent stuff, Relyn!

Anonymous said...

wonderful photo! i think all of get curious.

Heart2Heart said...


I'll take being a curious cat any day, they live their lives to the fullest and can honestly never say, I wonder what would happen if..."

Stop by my blog and check out my 2 newest giveaways!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

smith kaich jones said...

Making it here on Sunday night, a cat having kept me from getting around to all the places I wanted this weekend. I cannot tell you how much I loved this. I have heard it and read it before, but forgotten so much. Bless you for this Sunday spot (reached only by denying Maggie the cat my lap for a bit). :)


Derrick said...

Hi Relyn,

This is a super poem. Very phylosophical - and true!

Tracy said...

I hadn't come across this one before, either--I love it... and the photo! I'm a cat girl ;o) Happy Week, Relyn ((HUGS))

Jeffrey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Relyn said...

It's Jeffrey's most favorite poem of all. It's really how he lives, too - full of questions and curiosity. He was the kid who would take apart a clock, not to fix it, but to figure out how it works. I love that about him. Glad you liked the poem.

Nieves said...

Nice poem to start the spring with and lovely photo. About the content; how the world would move without being pulled by curiosity? Happy spring! Kind regards,

Meri said...

Oh my gosh - I just clicked on your 365. Something new to explore!

Daniella said...

This is one of my favorite poems. I first remember being introduced to it in high school.

On the animal theme, I love "The Fish" by Elizabeth Bishop too.

Patti said...

Love the picture- what a cutie!!! I enjoy being curious- I learn so much that way. Have a wonderful week~~~

elizabeth said...

What a beautiful kitty!

I enjoyed this poem .. had not read it before. I think I shall read it to Atlas. :)

S. Etole said...

That is the neatest picture of that kitty ...

Jaime said...

What a perfect little cat portrait to go with this wonderful poem. So very sweet. I wonder what cats think of cameras. I was once trying to photograph a friend's dog who was terrified of cameras....I think he thought it was some sort of gun or something...brought a whole new meaning to camera shy!

Gallery Juana said...

Came over to your blog from PinkPurl's blog.

It was the first time for me to come across this poem and I absolutely love it. Sweet photo of your beautiful cat.

Oldies, but Goodies