A Cartoon Tribute To Cats, And The Poets Who Loved Them
Francesco Marciuliano and Camila Domonoske
Tuesday marks the close of National Poetry Month, a 30-day celebration of all things versified and all people versifying. And in tangentially related news, for more than eight months, a book of cat-themed poetry — I Could Pee On This — has perched on the NPR best-seller lists. There it sits, insouciantly swishing its tail amid self-help books and memoirs, the poetry world's sole representative on the list.
Gazing at this collection of "poems by cats" week after week, I wondered: What is it about cats and poetry? Poets gaze out rain-streaked windows, write with fountain pens, drink tea, have cats: So goes the stereotype.
Is it true? As far as I know, no one has conducted a strictly scientific study of whether poets are more covered in cat hair than the rest of the population. But statistically significant or not, cats and poets certainly have a long history. NPR books asked Francesco Marciuliano, the author of I Could Pee On This as well as a comic strip writer and a cartoonist, to help walk us through some notable cat-poet duos ... starting with Christopher Smart and his cat, Jeoffry.