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Thursday, February 02, 2017

Poetry Friday--The Rain in Portugal

The Rain in Portugal: Poems [811.54 COL] is the latest collection from popular poet, and former U.S. Poet Laureate, Billy Collins. Another winner by my standards--it has more than one poem with a cat in it! Here's one:
Lucky Cat

It's a law as immutable as the ones
governing bodies in motion and bodies at rest
that a cat picked up will never stay
in the place where you coose to set it down.

I bet you'd be happy on the sofe
or this hassock or this knitted throw pillow
are a few examples of bets you are bound to lose.

The secret of winning, I have found,
is to never bet against the cat but on the cat
preferable with another human being
who, unlike the cat, is likely to be carrying money.

And I cannot think of a better time
to thank our cat for her obedience to that law
thus turning me into a consistent winner.

She's a pure black one, quite impossible
to photograph and prone to disappearing
into the night or even into the thin shadows of noon.

Such an amorphous blob of blackness is she
the only way to tell she is approaching
is to notice the two little yellow circles of her eyes
then only one circle when she is walking away
with her tail raised high--something like
the lantern signals of Paul Revere,
American silversmith, galloping patriot.

Quite the sense of humor has Mr. Collins!

The Poetry Friday Round-Up for this first week of February is being held at A Penny and Her Jots. Have a great weekend, and don't bet on any cats!


  1. On if by land, or two if by sea? That is a hilarious ending.

  2. Never bet against the cat. I love it--and the sense of humor through it all.

  3. The way his poems travel into unexpected places -- like a cat leaping? -- it always takes my breath away.

  4. I share your love for and appreciation of cat poems! Cats are really such poetic animals, and deserve to be celebrated in more collections!

  5. I love his dry, laconic voice. Thanks for this!

  6. Thanks for sharing the Billy Collins poem. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Cats are a wonderful subject for poetry...they are a bit of poetry.