Poetry Friday: The Cat by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Poetry Friday is hosted by Carol Varsalona @  beyondliteracylink

The world out there is kind of terrifying at the moment, and I seem to be spending more time than is healthy ranting and railing against the tide.  I can’t bring myself to turn on the news, and when I do I instantly regret it.  It truly is a world turned upside down.  This evening, fighting the flu and waves of panic about yet more bad news on account of this mad man President, I turned to find comfort in our cat.

Blissfully unaware of anything but his needs and comforts, he saunters around the house, intent on warm spots to sleep, nice things to eat, and the occasional bird flying past a window for excitement.  Oh, to be a house cat in these troubled times!

cat-on-radiator

The Cat   by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

                The cat
licks its paw and
lies down in
the bookshelf nook
She
can lie in a
sphinx position
without moving for so
many hours
and then turn her head
to me and
rise and stretch
and turn
her back to me and
lick her paw again as if
no real time had passed
It hasn’t
and she is the sphinx with
all the time in the world
in the desert of her time
The cat
knows where flies die
sees ghosts in motes of air
and shadows in sunbeams
She hears
the music of the spheres and
the hum in the wires of houses
and the hum of the universe
in interstellar spaces
but
prefers domestic places
and the hum of the heater

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12 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: The Cat by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

  1. My “office kitty” May is in my lap as I type this and thoroughly approves of your post and poem, as do I. So sorry to hear you are fighting off the flu – hope you are back to feeling well very soon. As for all the rest, well – unlike our solitary cats, we can draw some strength anyway knowing we’re not alone in our thoughts & feelings.

  2. Love this poem, Tara. Both comforting and profound. Had never seen this one before. He’s really captured the essence of catness —

    She hears
    the music of the spheres and
    the hum in the wires of houses
    and the hum of the universe
    in interstellar spaces

  3. “…prefers domestic places
    and the hum of the heater.”
    Love this poem, makes me miss our Hadley even more. Perhaps we all need some time as a cat to survive our current climate. Feel better soon!

  4. Cats are a wonder to watch. They really could care less about the world. I love the way this poem captures the cats we know well. I hope you ward off the flu. Liquids. Rest.

  5. I hope you’lll be better soon, Tara. I love the poem, and your intro to it sells me. “Oh to be a house cat in these troubled times.”

  6. I think if I were to be an animal, it would be a cat for all the many reasons listed in this poem.
    – without moving for many hours
    -lies down in the bookshelf
    Yep, I could do that!

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