Friday, January 9, 2009

Poetry Friday - Elizabeth Coatsworth (1893-1986)

Cat on a Night of Snow
by Elizabeth Coatsworth

Cat, if you go outdoors you must walk in the snow.
You will come back with little white shoes on your feet,
little white shoes of snow that have heels of sleet.
Stay by the fire, my Cat. Lie still, do not go.
See how the flames are leaping and hissing low.
I will bring you a saucer of milk like a marguerite,
so white and so smooth, so spherical and so sweet--
stay with me, Cat. Outdoors the wild winds blow.

Outdoors, the wild winds blow, Mistress, and dark is the night,
strange voices cry in the trees, intoning strange lore,
and more than cats move, lit by our eyes' green light,
on silent feet where the meadow grasses hang hoar--
Mistress, there are portents abroad of magic and might,
and things that are yet to be done. Open the door!

Elizabeth Coatsworth was an American author of more than sixty children's books, including Newbery Medal Winner, The Cat Who Went to Heaven.

Poetry Friday is being hosted today at Picture Book of the Day. Check it out!


Kelly Fineman said...

What a great sonnet - I love how she switches "voices" on the turn!

Author Amok said...

Great to see a new (for me) Coatsworth poem! I love how this is set up as a dialogue between the cat and her person.


Schelle said...


Anonymous said...

My cat has been going out to get her little shoes of snow...I have never imagined she's finding magic out there!
Great poem--I love the persuasiveness of both sides, and of course the lovely language.

Kelly said...

Very cool exchange between a cat and her owner.