Charles Baudelaire

(9 April 1821 – 31 August 1867 / Paris)

Cats - Poem by Charles Baudelaire

They are alike, prim scholar and perfervid lover:
When comes the season of decay, they both decide
Upon sweet, husky cats to be the household pride;
Cats choose, like them, to sit, and like them, shudder.

Like partisans of carnal dalliance and science,
They search for silence and the shadowings of dread;
Hell well might harness them as horses for the dead,
If it could bend their native proudness in compliance.

In reverie they emulate the noble mood
Of giant sphinxes stretched in depths of solitude
Who seem to slumber in a never-ending dream;

Within their fertile loins a sparkling magic lies;
Finer than any sand are dusts of gold that gleam,
Vague starpoints, in the mystic iris of their eyes.


Comments about Cats by Charles Baudelaire

  • (2/24/2017 1:00:00 AM)


    The Cat All day I inevitably encounter a cat here and there In the shadow of trees or out in the sun, around the pile of fallen leaves; I catch sight of him, deeply engrossed like a bee, with his own self Embedded in the skeleton of white soil Having successfully spotted some bones of fishes somewhere; But still, nevertheless, he scratches at the trunk of the Krishnachura tree All day he moves about stalking the sun. Now he shows up here The next moment he is lost somewhere. I spot him in the autumn dusk playing around As if, with his white paws, he is patting the supple body of the saffron sun; Then he nets up the tiny balls of darkness with his paw And spreads them throughout the world. Translated by Faizul Latif Chowdhury (Report) Reply

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  • (2/24/2017 12:59:00 AM)


    A poem by Jibanananda Das, a Bengali poet (1899-1954 The Cat All day I inevitably encounter a cat here and there In the shadow of trees or out in the sun, around the pile of fallen leaves; I catch sight of him, deeply engrossed like a bee, with his own self Embedded in the skeleton of white soil Having successfully spotted some bones of fishes somewhere; But still, nevertheless, he scratches at the trunk of the Krishnachura tree All day he moves about stalking the sun. Now he shows up here The next moment he is lost somewhere. I spot him in the autumn dusk playing around As if, with his white paws, he is patting the supple body of the saffron sun; Then he nets up the tiny balls of darkness with his paw And spreads them throughout the world. Translated by Faizul Latif Chowdhury (Report) Reply

  • (10/25/2012 2:18:00 AM)


    someone needs to create a new word in the english language...one that means genius, strength, grace, wisdom, mischief, artistry, etc. all rolled up into one...just for this poem. (Report) Reply

  • (8/11/2009 3:21:00 AM)


    Although I say it with love, I may never say 'stupid kitty' again. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: solitude, magic, pride, silence, dream, cat, horse



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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