from Ode To A Cat by Pablo Neruda

There was something wrong
with the animals:
their tails were too long, and they had
unfortunate heads.
Then they started coming together,
little by little
fitting together to make a landscape,
developing birthmarks, grace, pep.
But the cat,
only the cat
turned out finished,
and proud:
born in a state of total completion,
it sticks to itself and knows exactly what it wants.

Men would like to be fish or fowl,
snakes would rather have wings,
and dogs are would-be lions.
Engineers want to be poets,
flies emulate swallows,
and poets try hard to act like flies.
But the cat
wants nothing more than to be a cat,
and every cat is pure cat
from its whiskers to its tail,
from sixth sense to squirming rat,
from nighttime to its golden eyes.

Nothing hangs together
quite like a cat:
neither flowers nor the moon
such consistency.
It’s a thing by itself,
like the sun or a topaz,
and the elastic curve of its back,
which is both subtle and confident,
is like the curve of a sailing ship’s prow.
The cat’s yellow eyes
are the only
for depositing the coins of night.

11 thoughts on “from Ode To A Cat by Pablo Neruda

  1. Pingback: ‘Ode to the Cat’ by Pablo Neruda – Thoughts Become Words

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