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Catatonic - Poem by Sidi J. Mahtrow

Karl Ludwig Kahlbaum

In 1874, Karl Ludwig sat
Staring at his cat
Wondering what scientific discovery
Yet awaited his uncovery.

Seems all the great and renown
Had already placed their markers down
And there was little to be found
In plowing the psychic's hallowed ground.

Came first Aristotle
And others of lesser mettle
Who professed to understand
What was 'melancholy' of man.

Burton in his tome did write
Long and wide
Of the essence of melancholy
and its folly.

In his poem about pain and pleasure
He took far flung measure
Of what it constitutes
And how the mind pollutes.

Then along came Darwin (not the elder)
Who attempted to attribute to love and hunger
The forces of melancholy's strains
That caused to patients their many pains.

Freud, who read Darwin,
Claimed his bit of fame
Expanding on Sex
As it did man, perplex.

Kahlbaum thought it best to let be
What the 'Alienest' could not see.
So, in his records, Kahlbaum did note
Much about his cat, he wrote.

For ‘twas described by Karl Ludwig Kahlbaum
A state experienced by some.
And surely the lay public would know quite well
The nature of the cat and how it did dwell.

Stupor is called by some, 'catalepsy'
Which is nothing more or less
Than the state of mind with which the cat is blessed
When spending most of his (or her) time at rest.

For no external stimuli
Can arouse the cat from the bed in which it lie
All (or almost all) motor activity is suppressed
When the cat is in this state of rest.

Even when it appears that the cat is awake
And eyes are wide open to partake
Of events that are going on
There is no awareness that he is home.

In this state of consciousness the animal remains rigid
And if not frozen, in a word, torpid.
Permitting the cat to remain in a fixed position
Unmoving, regardless of external condition.

'Eureka, there's more.' He cried,
For another characteristic he'd spied.
When the cat was wide awake,
The tail was in motion for nothing's sake.
A swishing, and a twitching back and forth
As if moved by some other force.

'I see yet another characteristic, '
Sometimes it can be limp as a wick,
And carried about like a purse
Relaxed as if dead or worse.

But what shall I call my observations
So my reputation will be known to all Nations?
Something that will ensure that Kahlbaum
Will trip from other's tongue.

'I have it, ' he did exclaim,
'It will bring me everlasting fame.'
It's the state
To which all can relate!

Alas, as time has passed,
Karl Ludwig's name is not recognized,
But his cat has world renown
Living the condition that is well known.


Comments about Catatonic by Sidi J. Mahtrow

  • Rookie William F Dougherty (4/8/2012 9:00:00 PM)

    Needs a colon, dash, or ellipsis marks at the end so Catatonic does not float alone, with a pause
    that delays the puning punchline. I share an addiction for irony. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie James Nall (4/10/2009 8:32:00 AM)

    Worth twice the 10 I was able to give you, sidi. I have read your Is a Mullet a Fish? . thought it was excellent too, thanx (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Delilah Miller (3/29/2009 1:20:00 PM)

    That's probably the most upside cleverly-ironic thing I've ever read. (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »

Poems About Cat

  1. 1. Catatonic , Sidi J. Mahtrow
  2. 2. Johnny Cat That Talking Cat. , Michael Gale
  3. 3. The Cat And I On Sunday , Susan Lacovara
  4. 4. Companions , ivor or ivor.e hogg
  5. 5. The Cat-Lover , Emmanuel George Cefai
  6. 6. The Cat , Arynn D. Akins
  7. 7. Artist Herbert Hofer , Suzae Chevalier
  8. 8. Moonlight Sonata , Pradip Chattopadhyay
  9. 9. Copy Cat Black , Jessica Holter
  10. 10. **poppycat , Jon Alan
  11. 11. Gregg's Yellow Cat , Sidi J. Mahtrow
  12. 12. My Cat , Emily Krauss
  13. 13. Cameron , Mark R Slaughter
  14. 14. The Singing Bat , Herbert Nehrlich
  15. 15. Disrespect , ivor or ivor.e hogg
  16. 16. Kats And Doggs , Ted Sheridan
  17. 17. A Pet Poem. , Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  18. 18. Have You Ever Seen A Cat That Could Dance? , Kenny Love
  19. 19. And Pussy Cat , gajanan mishra
  20. 20. M Is For Malcolm , Malcolm Bacchus
  21. 21. I, The Cat? , Harper Chase
  22. 22. The Cat Still Wander Free , Francis Duggan
  23. 23. 9 Cat Poems , Raj Arumugam
  24. 24. Pussy Cat Goes To London , S.D. TIWARI
  25. 25. A Cat Cry , otteri selvakumar
  26. 26. Senryu(5-7-5) 3 , Aftab Alam
  27. 27. Morning Conversation , Connie Yost
  28. 28. Cat Haiku , O Anna Niemus
  29. 29. Cats Loved , Naveed Akram
  30. 30. The Black Cat , Derek James
  31. 31. Like Our Cat , Shalom Freedman
  32. 32. Cat On Hat , Danny Draper
  33. 33. A Rumpus , Ryan Brooks
  34. 34. Nature Friends. , Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  35. 35. Pussy Goes To London, Nursery Rhyme , S.D. TIWARI
  36. 36. Pantomime – Red Skelton And His Cat , Sidi J. Mahtrow
  37. 37. The Hungry Cat Kalua , Akhtar Jawad
  38. 38. The Bully And Me , Cynthia BuhainBaello
  39. 39. A Cat's Tale , Seema Aarella
  40. 40. My Cat , Sylvia Chidi
  41. 41. Miele Vacuum Cleaner, Turbo Model , Herbert Nehrlich
  42. 42. Cat In The Window, Pug On The Rug , David Whalen
  43. 43. Paradelle* For You , Ben Gieske
  44. 44. The Naughty Cat. , Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  45. 45. Talking To Animals (Fun Poem 97) , David Harris
  46. 46. Not My Karma , Krishnarasa Seshadri
  47. 47. Black Cat , Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  48. 48. Cat And Bell , gajanan mishra
  49. 49. I Killed The Cat , Robert Roberts
  50. 50. Bad Cat , Kitty Marie Lucas
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