Read Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse by Henry N. Beard Gary Zamchick Online


In the vein of his bestselling French for Cats, Henry Beard has assembled a brilliant anthology of treasured works by feline poets. Includes " Do Not Go Gentle to That Damned Vet" by Dylan Thomas's cat, " The Human" by Edgar Allan Poe's cat and other works. Poetry for Cats will prove as thrilling as a stiff shot of catnip. Color illustrations....

Title : Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse
Author :
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ISBN : 9780679435822
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 96 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse Reviews

  • Manny
    2018-08-26 21:09

    Earlier today, we were walking past one of the open-air bookstalls on Rue de la Marché when I noticed a second-hand copy of this book. It opened naturally at the following poem, which I liked so much that I immediately had to read it aloud:Kubla KatBy Samuel Taylor Coleridge's CatIn Xanadu did Kubla Kat A splendid sofa-bed decree With silken cushions soft and fat A perfect feline habitat Set on a gilt settee. And twice ten yards of fine brocade The golden ottoman arrayed: And there were pillows packed with airy down Hand-plucked from sacred swans in Thessaly; And lace draped from a massive silver crown Adorned the ornate rosewood canopy. And ah! that seat effused a potent lotion Pressed from the leaves of rare hypnotic herbs Sweet source of wondrous dreams that naught disturbs. Oh magic mint! Sublime and blissful potion! The fragrance of that place of slumber Floated on the balmy breeze Drawing kittens without number: Persians, Manx, and Siamese. It was a miracle of opulence, A shining sofa-bed with catnip scents! A songbird with a small guitar In a vision I once did note: It was a wise and winsome owl, Sitting in a pea-green boat, Singing a song to me, And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, We danced by the light of the moon. And when I arose from my languorous swoon I build that divine divan, That cushy couch! that smell of spice! And all who saw should stop and yawn, And none would cry, Get Down! Begone! The lights are dimmed, the curtains drawn. Tiptoe round him, still as mice, And let him catnap on his bed, For he on catnip leaves has fed, And lapped the milk of Paradise.The others weren't quite as fine, though I also recommend To a Vase, by Elisabeth Barrett Browning's cat, Abyssinias, by Percy Bysshe Shelley's cat and The Love Song of J. Morris Housecat, by T.S. Eliot's cat. The last of these, in particular, incorporates a fine quotation in 14th century cat Italian from Dante's cat:M'io muoiano muole miùmiei ma miogni noi parlamiaoumuoi m'uomi ne piùmiolo muoiano mio siamiaou

  • Barbara
    2018-09-03 22:00

    Love, love, love this book! It is hilarious, even if you have not read the original poems. But it is just that much better if you are familiar with the original works.Example:Thunderstormby Carl Sandburg's CatThe storm comeson big human feet.It goes stomping across harbor and cityin clumsy hipbootsand then plods on.

  • Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
    2018-09-21 01:47

    My favorite is the parody of Leaves of Grass.

  • Becky
    2018-08-31 22:11

    Premise/plot: Ever wonder what kind of poetry cats would write? What about the cats of famous poets?! In Henry Beard's Poetry for Cats he writes in the style (and punctuation) of some really famous poets from the perspective of their cats. To go outside, and there perchance to stay/ Or to remain within: that is the question...William Shakespeare's catVet, be not proud, though thou canst make cats die/ Thou livest but one life, while we live nine,/ And if our lives were half as bleak as thine,/ We would not seek from thy cold grasp to fly. John Dionne's catHow do I break thee? Let me count the ways. Elizabeth Barrett Browning's catIf you can disappear when all about you/ Are madly searching for you everywhere,/ And then just when they start to leave without you,/ Turn up as if you always were right there;/ If you can shed your hair in any season,/ And cough up half of all that you devour,/ And rush from room to room without a reason,/ Then sit and stare at nothing for an hour; Rudyard Kipling's catDo not go peaceable to that damn vet,/ A cat can always tell a trip is due,/ Hide, hide, when your appointment time is set. Dylan Thomas's catMy thoughts: I thought this one was very well done overall. I would have loved to see a list at the end pointing readers back to the original poems being parodied. I knew some of them--maybe even half of them. But I wasn't equally familiar with all of the poets being imitated. For cat lovers with an English degree, this is a very fun treat! My favorite poem was without a doubt the one by Rudyard Kipling's cat! The whole poem is wonderful! I wish I could share it all. I thought the poem by Geoffrey Chaucer's cat was clever. "She thinketh that no Canterbury mous/ Be worth an expeditioun from hir hous,/" It also includes words like yschlept and sawgh. If you've attempted the original, how could you help grinning at this imitation? And it is easier to unpack, by the way! I won't focus on each poem, but many of them are worth reading and rereading. A few might be worth sharing with the whole family, but this isn't necessarily kid-appropriate book.

  • Laura Verret
    2018-08-24 23:11

    The cleverness of this collection is beyond compare. Each poem is a spoof of a famous poem from the annals of literature - Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven, etc. - only in these poems, the cat of the author or hero in question is the narrator of the poem. The Tale of Brave Beocat alone captured me; Whitman's Cat's "Meow of Myself" and The Love Song of J. Alfred Housecat positively converted me. Five thumbs up.

  • Hana
    2018-09-22 00:45

    Every cat and poetry lover should find delights to savor in this brilliant book; preferably, it should be read aloud to your cats. One ought to know the human versions of the poems for full appreciation, and it can help to know something of the life story of the poets so that you can fully appreciate their cats' POV. Consider for example:The End of the Ravenby Edgar Allen Poe's CatOn a night quite unenchanting, when a rain was downward slantingI awakened to the ranting of the man I catch mice for.Tipsy and a bit unshaven, in a tone I found quite craven,Poe was talking to a Raven perched above the chamber door."Raven's very tasty," thought I, as I tiptoed o'er the floor, "There is nothing I like more."Soft upon the rug I treaded, calm and careful as I headedTowards his roost atop that dreaded bust of Pallas I deplore.While the bard and birdie chattered, I made sure that nothing clattered,Creaked, or snapped, or fell, or shattered, as I crossed the corridor,For his house is crammed with trinkets, curios and weird decor-- Brick-a-brac and junk galore.(It goes on for a few more verses and has a happy ending for Poe and the cat--and the raven? Nevermore.)This is not a book for foolish, uneducated humans. It assumes that any well-educated cat house-slave has mastered Middle English and can readily declaim:The Cat's Taleby Geoffrey Chaucer's CatA Cat there was, a gentil taillees ManxOur Hoste hadde seen astray on Thames banksAnd taen home to ridden him or rats,At whiche she preved to been the beste of cats....Those who are unfamiliar with either Dante or T.S. Eliot, will miss much of the haunting lyric beauty of The Love Song of J. Morris Housecat by T.S. Eliot's Cat, which starts with this moving selection: M'io muoiano muole miglio miù in the original 14th Century cat Italian. For the full quote, do see Manny's review!

  • Christy
    2018-09-21 02:42

    Who would’ve known? Every famous poet has owned a cat who wrote in the same style he did. For example, Lord Byron’s cat wrote “She Walks in Booties,” John Donne’s Cat wrote “Vet Be Not Proud,” Robert Frost’s cat wrote “Sitting by the Fire on a Snowy Evening,” and T. S. Eliot’s cat wrote “The Love Song of J. Morris Housecat.” By far the most charming was Poe’s cat, who didn’t sit idly by while his master chatted with the Raven: “Then I crouched and quickly leapt up, pouncing on the feathered bore. Soon he was a heap of plumage, and a little blood and gore, only this, and nothing more.” There are poems by thirty-nine clever felines, but the book has such a limited audience, it’s already out of print. Five stars, if you can find it.

  • Susannah
    2018-08-31 23:54

    This is a cleverly done collection of famous poems which have been altered so that they are written from the point of view of the poet's cat, and are about cat-related topics. The poems cover such topics as vase-breaking, mouse-catching, visits to the vet, and advice to kittens such as "get ye a human while ye may." The verses rewritten include: Kubla Kat, The Prologue to Territory Lost, one of Hamlet's soliloquies, and She Walks in Booties. This collection will be appreciated by all cat lovers who have even a passing knowledge of well-known poetry.

  • Mandy
    2018-09-13 01:08

    I adore this book! If you have owned a cat and were subjected to any teacher/professor's interpretation of poems that really made no sense, this will be funny to you. The author does a great job of catching the flavor of the original poet and puts in a poem written by that poet's cat that is so hysterical to me!

  • Judith
    2018-09-05 21:11

    Delightful! Cats rule!

  • Drew
    2018-09-21 22:11

    Funny interpretation of cat poetry!PS: The Raven must have tasted good!

  • Lynetta
    2018-09-07 01:04

    Garrison Keillor had Professional Organization of English Majors...and Henry Beard has obviously read a LOT of classic English! The Love Song of J. Morris Housecat as if by T. S. Eliot.."And time for new digressions and transgressionsBefore the taking of another nap." (p 69)For I have known the ones who feed me, known them all--Have known my humans well and leaned against their shins,I have measured out my lives in catfood tins; (p 70)e. e. cummings's catOgden Nash's Cat has a poem, "One of Nine Million Reasons Why Cats are Superior to DOgs." ( p 80)As well as the classics from Geoffrey Chaucer, "And that is how this Cat withouten tail Became as wel a Cat withouten tale." (p 4)Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, a variation on "If" by Rudyard Kipling's Cat....Be entertained by the superiority of cats!

  • Ninja
    2018-09-18 01:04

    About 40 poems, and I don't know most of the source poems. Mixed results.Favourites: Grendel's Dog, Hamlet's Cat's Soliloquy, Vet be not proud, To a vase, Sitting by the fire on a snowy evening, The love song of J Morris housecat, Parlor piece, Do not go peacable to that damn vet.

  • Cynthia
    2018-09-01 01:58

    I actually enjoy this more than the 'original verse' that these were based on!

  • Robin Sencenbach Ferguson
    2018-09-17 01:10

    A delight through and through! This slim little volume is based off the premise that the world's most famous poets all have cats--and they themselves wish to exert their literary talent! The result is a series of poems, including Shakespeare's cat contemplating whether he should or should not go outside (a la Hamlet's famous "to be or not to be" speech), Dylan Thomas's cat imploring his readers to not go quietly to the vet ("do not go quietly into that good night"), Edgar Allan Poe's cat penning "The End of the Raven" in reference a familiar tapping black-feathered creature, and T. S. Eliot's cat playfully referencing "Cats: the Musical." If you are a literature fan, this will be a great favorite. If you are familiar with the maddening and endearing ways of cats, this is a great read. But if you are familiar with both the original poetry and are a cat fan, this is the perfect book for you. In conclusion I will share the wisdom given by Gertrude Stein's cat: A Hairball is a hairball is a hairball.

  • Booklovinglady
    2018-09-01 23:04

    For a review in Dutch, see Poetry originally written in other languages than Dutch of the Netherlands & Flanders group.I came across Poetry For Cats years ago but completely forgot about it, to be honest, until a GR friend of mine read and rated it. And by now I am the proud owner of a lovely copy :-)All poems are written from a cat's point of view of course, and are a lovely parody on the work of the great poets. Reading these poems made me smile, grin, chuckle and sometimes even laugh out loud :-). This is truly a great little book for lovers of both cats and literature.

  • Thomas Ray
    2018-09-18 18:56

    If cats could write poetry, in Henry Beard's Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse, whose cat might have submitted an entry containing the following tale?"On a night quite unenchanting, when the rain was downward slanting,I awakened to the ranting of the man I catch mice for.Tipsy and a bit unshaven, in a tone I found quite craven,(He) was talking to a Raven perched above the chamber door.(...)Still the Raven never fluttered, standing stock-still as he uttered,In a voice that schrieked and sputtered, his two cents' worth --'Nevermore.'While this dirge the birdbrain kept up, oh, so silently I crept up,Then I crouched and quickly leapt up, pouncing on the feathered bore.Soon he was a heap of plumage, and a little blood and gore --Only this and not much more."

  • Res
    2018-09-15 01:50

    The author clearly loves both poetry and cats. Years ago -- back when spam had to be sent via fax -- someone sent me "The End of the Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe's cat," and I loved it so much that I made a copy and tossed it in my "treasures" file. I dug it out this month when I learned that the kidlet was studying Poe in English class, and a little Googling revealed the source.The Poe is a highlight:While the bard and birdie chattered, I made sure that nothing clattered,Creaked, or snapped, or fell, or shattered, as I crossed the corridor;For his house is crammed with trinkets, curios and weird decor -Bric-a-brac and junk galore. The one we've loved best so far, though, is "Meow of Myself," from "Leaves of Catnip," by Walt Whitman's Cat, which had the spouse literally falling from his chair with laughter. (Helps if you love "Leaves of Grass.")

  • Enni Gregas
    2018-09-09 01:09

    Read #2 on my 52 in 52 Quest: Delightful 70th birthday gift from Meagan and Matt who share my love of poetry and cats. This clever anthology opens where English literature begins, sort of, with "Grendel's Dog" from BEOCAT and prowls through the canon ending with "Meowl" by Allen Ginsberg's Cat. Hilarious and right on in terms of sending up the appropriate style, language, structure of each of these familiar works. For those who have loved/taught poetry---pour yourself a nice cup of tea or lovely glass of wine, settle down before a fire, and drink in the experience of not preparing or grading---pairs well with a cat on your lap.

  • Amy
    2018-08-27 23:55

    If you like poetry and you like cats, you'll probably like this book.I was familiar with most of the poems which were being parodied so it made it a lot more fun.If you're not into "classic" poetry and only like cats, it'll be hit-or-miss as to whether you'll like this book.I thought it was fun.

  • Marina
    2018-09-07 01:58

    The definitive anthology of distinguished feline verse. I wonder what Mercury writes when I'm not looking.ThunderstormsThe storm comes on big human feet.It goes stomping across harbor and cityin clumsy hipboots and then plods on.-Carl Sandburg's Cat

  • Sarah Sammis
    2018-08-23 19:08

    I didn't enjoy this book as much as Beard's "French for Cats" and the follow up book. While some of these poems were great parodies on famous poetry, I often would have prefered to have read the originals!

  • Irish Gal
    2018-08-29 22:01

    Very funny, especially if you've ever been owned by a cat and know their idiosyncrasies. If you are knowledgable about poetry you'll enjoy it even more - he does an excellent job echoing the original works of the "cat owners" (poets).

  • Katherine
    2018-09-11 20:46

    With the indigestible furball of the poem in the heartcoughed up out of their own bodies onto the absolutecenter of the immaculate carpet of life - from Meowl, by Allen Ginsberg's CatHighly recommended for all cat ladies and the people that love them.

  • Karen
    2018-09-17 00:45

    Brilliantly written cat-themed parodies of many well known poems. Beard cleverly captures the style of each writer with wit that all cat owners (or should I say servants) can relate to. Two of my favourites are Hamlet's Cat's Soliloquy by Shakespeare's cat and Meowl by Allen Ginsberg's cat.

  • l.
    2018-09-17 19:41

    Probably the stupidest collection of filks I've ever seen. I laughed at the Crane, WCW and Cummings riffs though. (A man said to the universe... "Excellent," replied the universe. "I've been looking for someone to take care of my cats ")"

  • Richard
    2018-09-11 21:52

    Very well done, humor is keen, poems are great, imaginatively and smartly done.

  • Dawn
    2018-09-17 18:59

    Who can beat a book of poems written by famous authors' cats? Loved Hamlet's Cat's Soliloquy by Shakespeare's cat. A rare gem of a book.

  • Nastaliq
    2018-08-25 18:46

    Meow! What a pleasant read for cat lovers everywhere. The author brilliantly reworks classic poems by inserting cats and feline motifs throughout. An excellent light read.

  • Trinity
    2018-08-26 19:10

    Cute. I dare not attempt to pin down the poetry of a cat!