The Cat Lady Sonnet

Sitting in the basement of my school’s little library I chose not to work on a project due tomorrow, but instead to browse my collection of old assignments. It was all very nostalgic, some a little sad, but mostly exciting to see how much I have changed throughout my years here. I came across one I had forgotten I had written for a class from the spring called “The Sentence.” We did these imitatio exercises, attempting emulate the form of an author’s work, but with our own content.

One week we were given Sherman Alexie’s “The Facebook Sonnet” to imitate. Now, I certainly am no poet, and with Alexie being one of my favorite authors (and a local author, at that), I found the task daunting at first. However, I had quite a bit of fun with it and wanted to share because it made me smile and laugh, and since those are a novelty of sort these days, I thought I would try to save it somehow. I absolutely recommend reading the poem (originally published in The New Yorker, find it here: http://www.mbird.com/2011/05/the-facebook-sonnet-sherman-alexie/) and everything else he has written. Here is my imitatio:

Welcome to the classic cat-lady
Existence. Welcome feline friends
And children, whether calico or tabby.
Let’s forever preside in the pretense

Of our hoarding habits. Who says in
Singleness that romance does not exist?
Let’s extend, pretend, and prolong
Motherhood. Let’s forget the risks

That plague the married. Let fellowship
And loneliness marry. Let one’s pets
Replace the world and love and kinship.
Let Petco alone answer our frets.

Let’s wine up, dine up, and undress
Here in the cat kingdom of loneliness.

And a picture of me and my cat named Plymouth:

Image

The spring during which this was written was an interesting time for me. Rediscovering this today, I realize I am experiencing similar things as I was then. I see myself growing, yet I know where (or on who) I get stuck. I am sad and confused and hurt and anxious and tired and lonely and scattered and the doctor says a little depressed; but I am trying to turn these back into my laughter. And maybe I already have cat- lady syndrome at the ripe age of 21 (because, yes it runs in the family); but I believe in love and I don’t want to be sad in love anymore and, well, my cat makes me laugh and maybe that is enough progress for today.

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