The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

November 10, 2011

November 10, 1879

Vachel Lindsay (November 10, 1879 to December 5, 1931) was famous during his lifetime for his poetry. He both came from the Middle West (USA) and wrote about those values. A surprising number of major American writers also come from that geographical area, but most of those artists cast their origins in a bitter light. Not so Lindsay and that may play into his current lack of critical attention. There are reasons to remember his originality in themes and techniques. You can see his instructions for reading ""A Dirge for a Righteous Kitten," published with the poem:

A DIRGE FOR A RIGHTEOUS KITTEN

To be intoned, all but the two italicized lines, which are to be spoken in a snappy, matter-of-fact way.

Ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong.

Here lies a kitten good, who kept
A kitten's proper place.
He stole no pantry eatables,
Nor scratched the baby's face.
He let the alley-cats alone.
He had no yowling vice.
His shirt was always laundried well,
He freed the house of mice.
Until his death he had not caused
His little mistress tears,
He wore his ribbon prettily,
He washed behind his ears.
Ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong.

The Congo and other poems (1914), included this text.

No comments: