Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cat's Dream

How neatly a cat sleeps,
Sleeps with its paws and its posture,
Sleeps with its wicked claws,
And with its unfeeling blood,
Sleeps with ALL the rings a series
Of burnt circles which have formed
The odd geology of its sand-colored tail.

I should like to sleep like a cat,
With all the fur of time,
With a tongue rough as flint,
With the dry sex of fire and
After speaking to no one,
Stretch myself over the world,
Over roofs and landscapes,
With a passionate desire
To hunt the rats in my dreams.

I have seen how the cat asleep
Would undulate, how the night flowed
Through it like dark water and at times,
It was going to fall or possibly
Plunge into the bare deserted snowdrifts.

Sometimes it grew so much in sleep
Like a tiger's great-grandfather,
And would leap in the darkness over
Rooftops, clouds and volcanoes.

Sleep, sleep cat of the night with
Episcopal ceremony and your stone-carved moustache.
Take care of all our dreams
Control the obscurity
Of our slumbering prowess
With your relentless HEART
And the great ruff of your tail.

Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)

photo: grethe bachmann


li said...

I've never seen that poem! Marvelous. Perfect summation of the wonder and mystery of cats.

Thyra said...

Hej!I hadn't seen it either. I'm so fond of cats! I like poems about cats!
Grethe aka Thyra

Teresa Evangeline said...

What a wonderful poem. I was not familiar with it. Many nice lines: "the odd geology of its sand-colored tail," and "with Episcopal ceremony and your stone-carved moustache." I also love the image of it growing in the night like a tiger's great grandfather. Thank you, Grethe, for this look into a cat's life through the eyes of Neruda. I'm learning to love his poetry more every time I read it. There's always something new, something more to see and understand.

Thyra said...

Hej Teresa, thank you! I would like to learn more from Neruda too. He really knows a cat, doesn't he?

Gerry Snape said...

Grethe...I don't know this wonderful poet! thankyou for this post and the thoughts of the cat.

Thyra said...

Hej Gerry! You're welcome! And thank you for the fine Thursday poem about the sea!
Grethe ´)