Oct 31, 2009

Poem for Halloween Day: "The Cat and the Moon"



by: W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)

HE cat went here and there
And the moon spun round like a top,
And the nearest kin of the moon,
The creeping cat, looked up.
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
For, wander and wail as he would,
The pure cold light in the sky
Troubled his animal blood.
Minnaloushe runs in the grass
Lifting his delicate feet.
Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
When two close kindred meet,
What better than call a dance?
Maybe the moon may learn,
Tired of that courtly fashion,
A new dance turn.
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
From moonlit place to place,
The sacred moon overhead
Has taken a new phase.
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
Will pass from change to change,
And that from round to crescent,
From crescent to round they range?
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
Alone, important and wise,
And lifts to the changing moon
His changing eyes.

Yeats's cat is creepy, roaming in the night and wailing to the moon, that changing globe we know also as luna, for lunacy. If the poem appeals to you on any level, please read it aloud, twice. The rhythm, including the changes in rhythm, make the scene more haunting.

Tomorrow I might add some slightly more academic blather about the poem, but for now, just read, listen, and . . . sleep well.

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slowmo said...

Scary, oooooh!

Black and white is so expressive. Though I am familiar with Yeats I hadn't read this poem before. Your suggestion of reading it out loud added so much to my enjoyment. Isn't it amazing how the simple words--moon, cat, dance––can be so evocative?

Keep up the poetry series.

Banjo52 said...

Thanks, Slomo. I plan to keep it up on the poetry, though it's surprisingly hard--or I make it hard--to find THE right one for any given day. That, of course, leads me to reading and re-reading more poetry, so, as we say now, "it's all good" . . . "at the end of the day."

Anonymous said...

At this point in time...

Yes, I like the poem. More blather please.

Banjo52 said...

AH, hope to get to the blather soon, but got caught up in seasonal changes for the Nov. 1 post.

I'll see if I can make the blather sound less like a term paper. Thanks for the encouragement.

Lovers' Lane