Cats – a poem by A.S.J. Tessimond

cat wallpapaer

Cats no less liquid than their shadows
Offer no angles to the wind.
They slip, diminished, neat through loopholes
Less than themselves; will not be pinned

To rules or routes for journeys; counter
Attack with non-resistance; twist
Enticing through the curving fingers
And leave an angered empty fist.

They wait obsequious as darkness
Quick to retire, quick to return;
Admit no aim or ethics; flatter
With reservations; will not learn

To answer to their names; are seldom
Truly owned till shot or skinned.
Cats no less liquid than their shadows
Offer no angles to the wind.

Arthur Seymour John Tessimond

Poem notes:

This is a great poem for children aged ten and upwards – for them I include the note to use a good dictionary to look up the words you don’t know – obsequious is one that is unusual today – poetry is especially good for broadening vocabulary without overwhelming you (like reading Dickens that young might).

Tessimond is a favourite poet of mine, and he’s not as well known as he should be, in my view. He paints with words – he draws such clearly described pictures. Where other authors sketch and let you imagine, Tessimond is like a portrait artist, capturing detail, and giving you a gimpse of something, in words, which is well defined. It sets his work apart.

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach