English 11 Notes for English Notes

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Concrete Cat

- Dorthi Charles
The poem “Concrete Cat” is composed by Dorthi Charles merely for the eye but not for the brain and emotions. This unique poem is the physical appearance of the cat rather than in words. This poem implies about the cat and its catness in action. The ear, eye, mouth, whisker, tail, etc. all have been sketched on the page to denote both abstract and physical meaning. The pun in the cat’s middle stripe is the only place where language aspires towards poetry and becomes figurative. The middle stripe shows the stomach part which says much about the human world and human activities. The term ‘mouse’ that is upside down indicates the image of a dead mouse.

The poem is very funny and like a puzzle game. A cat can be drawn by connecting lines. Every word is a part or organ of a cat. The ears are pointed upward, eyes show sign of wonder and mouth is at the sight of the dish. The tail is moving happily. The overall effect of the poem is funny as well as philosophical.

Critical Analysis of the poem “Concrete Cat”

The poem “Concrete Cat” is an example of a concrete poem. It is made for the eye. It is concerned with the physical appearance of the cat but not primarily with ideas or emotions. The capital letters A, Y, U indicate pointed ear, bright eye, and tongue of the cat respectively. The space left between the letters in the word tail shows its length. The upside-down mouse shows that it is killed. The pun in the cat’s middle stripes or tripes is the only place where language becomes figurative. The poem has reduced language with only ten different words. Thus, it is truly quite an art.

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