“Ella Mason and Her Eleven Cats” by Sylvia Plath
Old Ella Mason keeps cats, eleven at last count,
In her ramshackle house off Somerset Terrace;
People make queries
On seeing our neighbor’s cat-haunt,
“The Blue Cat” by Mary O’Malley
See how magnificently he lies.
Any minute now
He will step across the kitchen tiles
And brush against your bare ankles
With all that fur on skin implies.
“A Cat is Not a Cat” by S. GANAPATHI
A cat is a fallen piece of cloud
rolled up in wakeful sleep.
A mixed metaphor
descending the stairs
with a questioning tail.
“Cat on a Couch” by Barbara Howes
My cat, washing her tail’s tip, is a whorl
Of white shell,
As perfect as a fan
In full half-moon. . . Next moment she’s a hare:
“Cat in the Window,” by Lam Thi My Da
Often, late at night, when life feels heavy
I think of poetry, light, almost weightless
“Poem” by William Carlos Williams
As the cat
the top of
And a BONUS from reader suggestions:
“Pangur Bán” by Anonymous translated by Seamus Heaney
From the ninth-century Irish poem
Pangur Bain and I at work,
Adepts, equals, cat and clerk:
His whole instinct is to hunt,
Mine to free the meaning pent.
Tell us your favorite cat poems! Are they on JSTOR? Send ’em in!