Cats met us at
the landing-place
reclining in the sun
to check us in
with a momentary glance,
concierges
of a grassy island.
(Attila's Throne,
the Devil's Bridge,
and "the best Byzantine
church in the world",
long saints admonitory
on kiln-like inner walls.)
And lunch in a shady court
where cats now
systematically worked
the restaurant, table
by table, gazing into eyes
pleading "I'm hungry
and I'm cute", reaching
front paws up to knees
and always getting
before zeroing in
on the next table, same
routine, same result.

Sensible bourgeois
wild-cats working
with the furred impudence
of those who don't pretend
to be other than whores,
they give you not
the semblance of love
but simply
a look at their beauty
in return for food.
Models, not escorts.
They lack, too,
the prostitute's self-pity,
being beyond shame.
And we lack
what they have.


About Thom Gunn


an Anglo-American poet who was praised both for his early verses in England, where he was associated with The Movement and his later poetry in America, even after moving toward a looser, free-verse style. After relocating from England to San Francisco, Gunn, who became openly gay, wrote about gay-related topics — particularly in his most famous work, The Man With Night Sweats in 1992 — as well as drug use, sex, and topics related to his bohemian lifestyle. He won numerous major literary awards. Read more...

Poet of the day

Katherine Fowler was born on New Year's day, 1631 in London, England. Her father, John Fowler, was a Presbyterian merchant. Katherine was educated at one of the Hackney boarding-schools, where she became fluent in several languages. After the death of John Fowler, Katherine's mother married a Welshman, Hector Philips, and,...
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Poem of the day


One lovely name adorns my song,
And, dwelling in the heart,
Forever falters at the tongue,
And trembles to depart.


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