how to write a good poem about a sick cat


(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. 



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