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More poems by Philip LevinePhilip Levine | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments (2) | Books by Philip LevineBooks by Philip Levine

A Theory Of Prosody

Philip Levine

When Nellie, my old pussy
cat, was still in her prime,
she would sit behind me
as I wrote, and when the line
got too long she'd reach
one sudden black foreleg down
and paw at the moving hand,
the offensive one. The first
time she drew blood I learned
it was poetic to end
a line anywhere to keep her
quiet. After all, many morn-
ings she'd gotten to the chair
long before I was even up.
Those nights I couldn't sleep
she'd come and sit in my lap
to calm me. So I figured
I owed her the short cat line.
She's dead now almost nine years,
and before that there was one
during which she faked attention
and I faked obedience.
Isn't that what it's about—
pretending there's an alert cat
who leaves nothing to chance.

Added: 25 Feb 2002 | Last Read: 23 Sep 2014 2:21 PM | Viewed: 7033 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/2878/ | Viewed on 23 September 2014.
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