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Famous Cat Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Cat poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous cat poems. These examples illustrate what a famous cat poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Thomas, Dylan
...nd the firemen.

It was on the afternoon of the Christmas Eve, and I was in Mrs. Prothero's garden, waiting for cats, with her
son Jim. It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my memory, is white as Lapland,
though there were no reindeers. But there were cats. Patient, cold and callous, our hands wrapped in socks, we
waited to snowball the cats. Sleek and long as jaguars and horrible-whiskered, spitting and snarling, th...Read more of this...

by Graves, Robert
...ted ear
That same hideous nightmare thing,
Talking, as he lapped my blood,
In a voice cruel and flat,
Saying for ever, "Cat! ... Cat! ... Cat!..."

That one word was all he said,
That one word through all my sleep,
In monotonous mock despair.
Nonsense may be light as air,
But there's Nonsense that can keep
Horror bristling round the head,
When a voice cruel and flat
Says for ever, "Cat! ... Cat! ... Cat!..Read more of this...

by Plath, Sylvia
...nsions to enter.
Grief and anger, exorcised,
Leave her alone now.

The future is a grey seagull
Tattling in its cat-voice of departure.
Age and terror, like nurses, attend her,
And a drowned man, complaining of the great cold,
Crawls up out of the sea....Read more of this...

by Blake, William
...he fly
Shall feel the spider's enmity.
He who torments the chafer's sprite
Weaves a bower in endless night.
The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother's grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh.
He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar's dog and widow's cat,
Feed them, and thou wilt grow fat.
The gnat that sings his summer's song
Poison gets from Slander's tongue.
T...Read more of this...

by Neruda, Pablo
...How neatly a cat sleeps,
Sleeps with its paws and its posture,
Sleeps with its wicked claws,
And with its unfeeling blood,
Sleeps with ALL the rings a series 
Of burnt circles which have formed 
The odd geology of its sand-colored tail.

I should like to sleep like a cat,
With all the fur of time,
With a tongue rough as flint,
With the dry sex of fire and 
After spea...Read more of this...

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...Gus is the Cat at the Theatre Door.
His name, as I ought to have told you before,
Is really Asparagus. That's such a fuss
To pronounce, that we usually call him just Gus.
His coat's very shabby, he's thin as a rake,
And he suffers from palsy that makes his paw shake.
Yet he was, in his youth, quite the smartest of Cats--
But no longer a terror to mice a...Read more of this...

by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
And in low hut my monarch found.
He was no eagle and no earl,
Alas! my foundling was a churl,
With heart of cat, and eyes of bug,
Dull victim of his pipe and mug;
Woe is me for my hopes' downfall!
Lord! is yon squalid peasant all
That this proud nursery could breed
For God's vicegerency and stead?
Time out of mind this forge of ores,
Quarry of spars in mountain pores,
Old cradle, hunting ground, and bier
Of wolf and otter, bear, and deer;
Well-built abode of many ...Read more of this...

by Milligan, Spike
What are vices?
Catching rats
And eating mices!...Read more of this...

by Whittier, John Greenleaf
...To the Memory of the Household It Describes

This Poem is Dedicated by the Author

"As the Spirit of Darkness be stronger in the dark, so Good Spirits, which be Angels of Light, are augmented not only by the Divine light of the Sun, but also by our common Wood Fire: and as the Celestial Fire drives away dark spirits, so also this our fire of Wood doth the same." 
Cor. Agrippa, Occult Philosophy, Book I, ch....Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt
...are crowded with
I breathe the fragrance myself, and know it and like it; 
The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it. 

The atmosphere is not a perfume—it has no taste of the distillation—it
 is odorless; 
It is for my mouth forever—I am in love with it;
I will go to the bank by the wood, and become undisguised and naked; 
I am mad for it to be in contact with me. 

The smoke of my own breath; 
Echoes, ripples, buzz’...Read more of this...

by Masefield, John
...ll dark, but at the turning 
The Lion had a window burning. 
So in we went and up the stairs, 
Treading as still as cats and hares. 
The way the stairs creaked made you wonder 
If dead men's bones were hidden under. 
At head of stairs upon the landing 
A woman with a lamp was standing; 
she greet each gent at head of stairs, 
With "Step in, gents, and take your chairs. 
The punch'll come when kettle bubble, 
But don't make noise or there'll be trouble." 
'...Read more of this...

by Browning, Robert
For when you've passed the cornfield country,
Where vineyards leave off, flocks are packed,
And sheep-range leads to cattle-tract,
And cattle-tract to open-chase,
And open-chase to the very base
Of the mountain where, at a funeral pace,
Round about, solemn and slow,
One by one, row after row,
Up and up the pine-trees go,
So, like black priests up, and so
Down the other side again
To another greater, wilder country,
That's one vast red drear burnt-up plain,
Branched through...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...ollow wandering fires, 
And the Quest faded in my heart. Anon, 
The heads of all her people drew to me, 
With supplication both of knees and tongue: 
"We have heard of thee: thou art our greatest knight, 
Our Lady says it, and we well believe: 
Wed thou our Lady, and rule over us, 
And thou shalt be as Arthur in our land." 
O me, my brother! but one night my vow 
Burnt me within, so that I rose and fled, 
But wailed and wept, and hated mine own self, 
And even the Hol...Read more of this...

by Scott, Sir Walter
...kind creeping shrubs of thousand dyes
     Waved in the west-wind's summer sighs.

     Boon nature scattered, free and wild,
     Each plant or flower, the mountain's child.
     Here eglantine embalmed the air,
     Hawthorn and hazel mingled there;
     The primrose pale and violet flower
     Found in each cliff a narrow bower;
     Foxglove and nightshade, side by side,
     Emblems of punishment and pride,
     Grouped their dark hues with eve...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...r'w in cage,
For she was wild and young, and he was old,
And deemed himself belike* a cuckold. *perhaps
He knew not Cato, for his wit was rude,
That bade a man wed his similitude.
Men shoulde wedden after their estate,
For youth and eld* are often at debate. *age
But since that he was fallen in the snare,
He must endure (as other folk) his care.
Fair was this younge wife, and therewithal
As any weasel her body gent* and small. *slim, neat
A seint* she w...Read more of this...

by Lear, Edward
...The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
  In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money
  Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
  And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy, O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
          You are,
          You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!" 
Pussy sai...Read more of this...

by Yeats, William Butler
...ards the full
He follows whatever whim's most difficult
Among whims not impossible, and though scarred.
As with the cat-o'-nine-tails of the mind,
His body moulded from within his body
Grows comelier. Eleven pass, and then
Athene takes Achilles by the hair,
Hector is in the dust, Nietzsche is born,
Because the hero's crescent is the twelfth.
And yet, twice born, twice buried, grow he must,
Before the full moon, helpless as a worm.
The thirteenth moon but sets ...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...ages had been lost; 
But woman ripened earlier, and her life 
Was longer; and albeit their glorious names 
Were fewer, scattered stars, yet since in truth 
The highest is the measure of the man, 
And not the Kaffir, Hottentot, Malay, 
Nor those horn-handed breakers of the glebe, 
But Homer, Plato, Verulam; even so 
With woman: and in arts of government 
Elizabeth and others; arts of war 
The peasant Joan and others; arts of grace 
Sappho and others vied with any man: 
And, la...Read more of this...

by Carroll, Lewis
...neither fight nor fly. 

While she dissected, word by word,
His speech, half guessed at and half heard,
As might a cat a little bird. 

Then, having wholly overthrown
His views, and stripped them to the bone,
Proceeded to unfold her own. 

"Shall Man be Man? And shall he miss
Of other thoughts no thought but this,
Harmonious dews of sober bliss? 

"What boots it? Shall his fevered eye
Through towering nothingness descry
The grisly phantom hurry by? 

"And hear du...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...anden, at the least,
A thing of which his Master gave no hest.* *command
The dart* is set up for virginity; *goal 6
Catch whoso may, who runneth best let see.
But this word is not ta'en of every wight,
*But there as* God will give it of his might. *except where*
I wot well that th' apostle was a maid,
But natheless, although he wrote and said,
He would that every wight were such as he,
All is but counsel to virginity.
And, since to be a wife he gave me leave
O...Read more of this...

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Book: Reflection on the Important Things