Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sister Cat

Cat stands at the fridge,
Cries loudly for milk.
But I've filled her bowl.
Wild cat, I say, Sister,
Look, you have milk.
I clink my fingernail
Against the rim. Milk.
With down and liver,
A word I know she hears.
Her sad miaow. She runs
To me. She dips
In her whiskers but
Doesn't drink. As sometimes
I want the light on
When it is on. Or when
I saw the woman walking
toward my house and
I thought there's Frances.
Then looked in the car mirror
To be sure. She stalks
The room. She wants. Milk
Beyond milk. World beyond
This one, she cries.

by Frances Mayes
1940 -

I could relate to the independence and finicky nature of Sister Cat, even tho' my cat(s) never drank milk. In the 1979 photo see my cat, Athena, who lived seventeen years.

While I prefer T S Eliot's cat poems, I'm highlighting Mrs. Mayes today because she is Georgia-born/bred. Learn more about her at this Georgia Encylopedia website.

She's well-known. Did you recognize the name before looking her up?

Tell me about a famous poet from your state.


  1. This is the second time this month you've asked about a poet from your readers' home state -- the first time I looked up the Virginia poet laureate and wasnt' terrible impressed.

    Today I'm thinking about poets from my native Arkansas. A quick look at Wikipedia tells me that Maya Angelou is from my state, which I didn't know. I did know that both Johnny Cash and Glenn Campbell were Arkansans.

    I also knew that John Gould Fletcher, who wrote the essay I really like on education in I'll Take my Stand, was an Arkansan, but I didn't know he was a poet -- Wiki says he belonged to the Imagist school which I'll have to read about. I won't have time to look up any of his poetry till later today.

    Wiki's biographical info on Fletcher is rather sketchy and differs a little from something that I know of him. It says he was born in Little Rock and that he and his wife built Johnswood, their home. The city limits do extend to his birth place now, but it was just Pulaski County when he was born, and I was under the impression that his home had been built by ancestors. I do know that the land had been in his family for many generations. In the 30s when the interstate system was proposed, the highway that's now called I-40 was drawn right through his property and would require the destruction of his home. He was never able to get the govt to change the route... and though he was always prone to depression, this was the immediate cause of his suicide.

  2. Right on, Kelly! So, now post one of those :)

    While Maya is a little liberal for my taste, I love the sound of her voice. I'll bet I could find one or two of hers I like.

    Sometimes I worry about what others will think of my choices in light of the private lives of the poet, author, muscician or whomever. Sometimes it bothers me enough not to select their work, like with Pablo Picasso. Other times, like with John Ruskin's wierdness, I try to overlook it.