The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
T.S. Eliot, excerpt, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
It is a soft October night, a little misty in the warm glow under the street light, and I remembered my orange boy, Allegro, as the leaves were falling thickly like colorful rain in the October breeze; how he loved to chase them. This photo of Allegro is from around 1987, taken with film and my good old Pentax K-1000. In light of what I do now, it’s not a bad composition at all, thinking of me lying flat on my belly on the floor using my elbows as a tripod, and Allegro wondering what I was up to.
And I love this image of the street cat from T.S. Eliot’s poem, totally unrelated to the subject of the poem, but Eliot worked cat imagery into his poetry all the time. Rumor has it he was often not a pleasant person to be around, but he, the author of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, certainly loved cats. I learned much about crafting words into images by reading his poetry, and not the least for finding feline imagery hidden in the pages.
I wrote an article about T. S. Eliot, his feline imagery, and my discovery of it as a college freshman in Litter-ary Cats: T.S. Eliot, which won a Certificate of Excellence in the Cat Writers’ Association 2012 Communication Contest. I continue to be inspired.
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