Special Note: My friend and colleague at school, Suparna Kudesia, is Amy L-V's guest today on The Poem Farm. Please welcome her and her class to Poetry Friday! They are crazy about poetry!
I have the honor of being a round two Cybil’s judge in poetry again this year, and have been reviewing the poetry books I already own, and ordering others that I haven’t read yet. I don’t really have to participate yet, but am enjoying reading the nominees. What an array of wonderful ones on the list, including those written by some of you who share on Poetry Friday! Congratulations!
I recently found Cat Talk at my library. It is co-authored by Patricia MacLachlan and her daughter, Emily MacLachlan Charest, and illustrated by Barry Moser. Each page shows a lovely image of a particular cat and poetic text that describes its special personality. For those who love cats, this would make a wonderful gift, and for those who teach, I can imagine having students use this example to spark their own poems about a particular favorite pet, not necessarily a cat.
As you can see from the gorgeous cover, Barry Moser shows cat personalities very well. There is the sweetest small painting of two buddies leaning together on the dedication page, a black cat and a white one, and the book begins! There is Tough Tom whom we meet as an on-the-streets cat, who walked into a warm and welcoming place, and as he said, "But you opened the window/And I walked in." We meet Minnie, a cat so dark, he says "My fur is the color of the night./I am a shadow," with an almost full page illustration of a dark night with a full moon, and Minnie, blending in! Each cat is filled with personality, both in the words and the illustration. A favorite is dear Romeo, black with a white big, reminding me of my last cat, Max, both in looks and personality. The poem reads in part, "I fall over onto people I love./You can pet me anytime/anywhere." The book pays sweet homage to cat pets, and the reasons we love them, "They've got personality!"
One discovery as I researched cats: "A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays, and for the last three he stays." - English Proverb