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15 November 2009

The Naming of Cats

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey—
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter—
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover—
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

T.S. Eliot.

...

Several years ago friend gifted me with a copy of T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. This poem is one of my favourites.

Hmmm, perhaps I should start sharing more of my favourite verses... I think I just might.

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9 Comments:

Blogger buttercupped caren said...

Fabulous!!
I lovelovelove that you posted this. :)

November 15, 2009 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger carly said...

my favourite book of all time!

November 15, 2009 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger joyfully gray said...

You should, indeed. This lit teacher would love to hear what you love :)

I've often thought I should have a collection of my favorite poems for Lucia - so she will always know what I loved someday.

I've been trying to get my students to enjoy more poetry. Some just do not see what I see! Hear what I hear!

November 15, 2009 at 6:36 PM  
Blogger Johanna said...

a purrfect post (sorry I had to)

November 15, 2009 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger Hila said...

awww, that's rather sweet :) Thank you so much for your kind note of congratulations!

November 15, 2009 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

Caren: Awe, I thought you might like it!

Carly: Yay -- it's definitely one of mine. The poems are SO fantastic!

Gray: I will start putting together a collection to share, bit by bit :) I remember absolutely falling in love with poetry in the 1st grade when I found dennis lee's alligator pie anthology -- which I now have a signed copy of, by luck! My mother found a copy that someone was giving away and when I opened it up -- there was his signature!! So thrilled!!

Johanna: Hehe, thank you ^_^ That makes me smile, of course, haha.

Hila: Awe, anytime!!

November 15, 2009 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger littlechrissy said...

Beautiful! All the cats my family has ever owned have had multiple names.

November 16, 2009 at 12:11 AM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

The cat in this photo is just called Kitten, though our other cat is named Lydia Deets ^_^

November 16, 2009 at 12:49 AM  
Blogger nicole said...

cats and ts eliot...a perfect day.

November 16, 2009 at 3:11 PM  

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