Carrying on with the cat theme... Guest poem sent in by Martin Davis
(Poem #660) On A Night of Snow
Cat, if you go outdoors, you must walk in the snow. You will come back with little white shoes on your feet, little white shoes of snow that have heels of sleet. Stay by the fire, my Cat. Lie still, do not go. See how the flames are leaping and hissing low, I will bring you a saucer of milk like a marguerite, so white and so smooth, so spherical and so sweet - stay with me, Cat. Outdoors the wild winds blow. Outdoors the wild winds blow, Mistress, and dark is the night, strange voices cry in the trees, intoning strange lore, and more than cats move, lit by our eyes green light, on silent feet where the meadow grasses hang hoar - Mistress, there are portents abroad of magic and might, and things that are yet to be done. Open the door!
I'm afraid that I know nothing of Elizabeth Coatsworth, not can I remember the anthology in which I found this poem. When I started to read it, I thought "Ho hum, another twee cat poem..." ; but then the cat's voice in the second stanza hits its contrasting view of the world, and, for me, conjures up the excitement of sharing living space with cats very successfully. It works so well that it was only some time after my first reading that I realised it was a sonnet, 8/6, abbaabba cdcdcd, which I think is always a tribute to the poet's art. Regardless of the crafting, it still makes the hair on the back of my neck rise - I hope you enjoy it too. Best wishes, Martin Davis