how to write a good poem about a sick cat

giphy-7.gif

(Poetry Diary 270 – 6/28/17) went looking to see if I could find any non-cloying poems about sick cats today, as I had to take one of my 2 cats to an animal hospital at 2:30 a.m. for an emergency operation. (He’ll be all right, thanks to credit cards. Ooosh.) I’ve read this one before and didn’t think it was over-the-top, though it did its job today in making me tear up in recognition. (& tiredness. I’ve never cried over this poem before today.)

The topic of how to write a good poem about a potentially sentimental subject is an interesting one. Maybe “Cat, Failing” works because the speaker is studying the animal in a detached manner? He reports details w/out bringing his own feelings in, or at least he doesn’t so overtly…The ending does pop a reader in the head, though.

Cat, Failing
Robin Robertson
A figment, a thumbed
maquette of a cat, some
ditched plaything, something
brought in from outside:

_

This was found in the Poetry Foundation’s online anthology of Cat Poems. 

 

 

Dailies 7/27/17: loving the living, touching a lock of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s hair, musing about a Camperdown Elm, & looking at a painting by Richard Diebenkorn

mccarth_mccarth-8.jpg

Image found at a haunting online portfolio of photos of Millay’s house, taken by Julie W. McCarthy.

download

Ann Townsend – Millay’s Hair

New York Public Library, Edna St. Vincent Millay archives

Because Norma saved even the grocery lists,
*******it was no surprise to find a lock of hair

Read rest of poem 

 

download

Julia Kasdorf – What I Learned from My Mother

I learned from my mother how to love
the living, to have plenty of vases on hand
in case you have to rush to the hospital
with peonies cut from the lawn, black ants
still stuck to the buds. I learned to save jars

Read rest of poem 

 

download-1

Ben Lerner – The Camperdown Elm

Our children do not mean
Their numbers are up, the fireflies
To kill them when they cup
Around the soft bodies, light
Music softens features
The way a mild solvent
Softens the acrylic, yellowing in time

Read rest of poem 

versedailylogo

Alison Jarvis – At the Diebenkorn Show Without You 
#11 — oil on canvas

Is this California? It could be
anywhere, the way the overpass
straddles the street near its vanishing point.
That blur of green not so much grass
or trees, as words I rush through

Read rest of poem 

Dailies 6/26/17: old cats, condoms, the Common Wealth & jazz

giphy.gif

download

Ann Iverson – Plentitude

Even near the very end
the frail cat of many years
came to sit with me

Read rest of poem

download

Yusef Komunyakaa – from “The Last Bohemian of Avenue A”

Here’s the End of the World
mobile with its shiny bullhorn
& platitudes among drawings
tattooed across the beige hood

Read rest of poem 

 

versedailylogo

Nancy Chen Long – The Common Wealth, Cash and Carry 

Everyone*********sells out. Someone somewhere
*****is shilling. Ammunition
sells like water

Read rest of poem 

download-1

Kathryn Nuerenberger – The Real Thing

Sir John Mandeville, the great explorer and liar,
claimed “there grows a kind of fruit as big
as a gourd, and when it is ripe men open it
and find inside an animal of flesh and blood
and bone, like a little lamb without wool.”
He called this the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary.

Read rest of poem 

 

the world’s 1st poet was a bit like Ivanka Trump

Burney-Relief.jpg

WHY HAS NO ONE EVER HEARD OF 
THE WORLD’S FIRST POET? ENHEDUANNA IS REVERED BY ANCIENT ALIEN CONSPIRACY THEORISTS—BUT FEW OTHERS – Charles Halton – Literary Hub – 6/22/17

“Enheduanna and her writings produce both complications and conflicted assessments. It is incredibly inspiring that the first author that we know of in all of human history was a woman living within a kick-your-teeth-down-your-throat, highly repressive patriarchal society. I imagine it took a lot of courage for her to step out of the convention of anonymous writing and boldly attach her name to her works. People probably regarded her as conceited and arrogant, a prima donna and an iconoclast. But she was also the king’s daughter, which gave her an immense amount of privilege. She used this privilege to carry her father’s water as he brutally expanded his colonial empire.”

In a footnote, Halton adds that “It’s taking every ounce of self-control I have to avoid comparing her to Ivanka Trump.”

Temple Hymn 7 

Enheduanna, translated by Betty De Shong Meador

high-lying Kesh

in all heaven and earth ***** you are the form-shaping place

*spreading fear like a great poisonous snake

Read rest of poem 

Dailies 6/25/17: fathers, Dorothy after Oz, & the passing of time

giphy-2.gif

download

Avid Romtvedt – Sunday Morning Early

My daughter and I paddle red kayaks
across the lake. Pulling hard,
we slip easily through the water.

Read rest of poem

 

versedailylogo

Lindsey Royce – The Fatherly Season

From a distance, I watch my father raking,
belt bent beneath the weight of his gut,
wingtips he hits me with matting tracks in damp
grass, trip-spring mouth cursing twigs that snare

Read rest of poem 

download-1

William Wenthe – Endings

The low waves of Kansas plains
roll to the border of the farmyard
where Dorothy stands. The land arrives
to meet her eyes: timothy and coneflower;

Read rest of poem 

download

T.S. Eliot – Song

If space and time, as sages say,
Are things which cannot be,
The fly that lives a single day
Has lived as long as we.

Read rest of poem 

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑