Cat Poems

With the release of my debut chapbook, Celine: An Elegy, I have been inspired lately to read poems about cats. Here is so extra reading on cats.

With the release of my debut chapbook, Celine: An Elegy, I have been inspired lately to read poems about cats. As one might expect, there are perhaps hundreds of poems about cats in major literary journals and books. They are a subject we, as poets and readers, cannot get enough of. Cats have been the subject of poetry for hundreds of years, and we have put together a list of quite famous cat haiku. This article expands on that and looks at cat poems not written in any form in particular. I have also included three poems from my own collection, which is an entire book dedicated to our cat, Celine. I hope you enjoy these poems and consider checking out my debut book!

Poem by William Carlos Williams

As the cat
climbed over
the top of

the jamcloset
first the right

then the hind
stepped down

into the pit of
the empty

Cats by Charles Bukowski

I know. I know.
they are limited, have different
needs and

but I watch and learn from them.
I like the little they know,
which is so

they complain but never
they walk with a surprising dignity.
they sleep with a direct simplicity that
humans just can’t

their eyes are more
beautiful than our eyes.
and they can sleep 20 hours
a day
hesitation or

when I am feeling
all I have to do is
watch my cats
and my

I study these

they are my

Fog by Carl Sandburg

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Cat Poem by C.W. Bryan

A gray and white cat sidles up
against the splotchy green dumpster
and meows despite himself.

The plastic lid slams hard at the end
of another long shift. It sounds desperately final
like the North Springs station, or the highest note

of a violin.

Adam Waking by Katie Peterson

We chose this animal to be our pet.
His indifference allowed us to sleep.

Cat, who made your ears bend back,
who made you lazy as quick?

Who made you work?
It is a wonder any sun is left.

Still it is always so abrupt.
Sleep like an umbrella going up,

clumsy like a broken umbrella coming down,
this waking, and into what?

I did not ask to be afraid.
I did not ask for pleasure, but there it was,

it exfoliated at its own leisure,
grew until it was all that was—

The brief interruption of who I am
interrupts and punctuates the day

I always assumed that I would share—
Cat who cut the sun down from the sky

and then responsible put it up again?
There must be one of us that you prefer.

Excerpts from Celine: An Elegy

The following three cat poems are from my debut chapbook, Celine: An Elegy. I hope you enjoy reading these and I hope you will consider buying a copy of the book to help support us!

Her name is Celine by C.W. Bryan

Cardiomyopathy is a cruel name for a cat
even so,

the vet has named her such.

Life is no way to treat an animal

Making Biscuits by C.W. Bryan

one gentle paw
as a snowy alley
alights like a dove
on a gray couch


until she’s not.

Blueberry by C.W. Bryan

only three short breaths
not even the time it takes
for a leaf to kiss the ground in autumn

three short breaths, through a phone
to deliver the news that Celine
has since stopped breathing at all

a life one year long
not even the time it takes
for blueberries to grow

how many tiny heartbeats
in a life smaller than a blueberry?

Support the Site

If you want to support the site you can do so by purchasing Corey’s first book of poetry here.

You can read more about the book here.

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Sam and Corey started Poetry is Pretentious to demystify poetry. More importantly, their 5th grade teacher told them they couldn’t go through life as a team. 18 years later they’re here to prove her wrong.


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