Response to Picasso’s sculpture of a Cat
She’s pregnant, this cat
or just given birth. She’s muddy;
her tail's been broken.
Look at her neck, stiff
as a stanchion. Look at her compact
head; so ill-made for big thoughts
you fear her tail is pulling
her backwards. She isn’t curled
by contentment, or preying
with merciless grace, or cagily
she is Cat. She disdains
opinion. You can tell
by the vainglorious shine
of her ears, as if she is listening to
an undivided convent
of cats chanting her name
lapping up her blessing
as she passes them. She has lived
fully; they have been holy.
Picasso stretched time between
sculptures; using his brush to pry apart
skulls, turning to his hands only when the Muse
purred to him. He was never trained
to mold clay or pour bronze but
what he made, he kept
close. They fattened
his household. Did he speak
to Cat? Attempt to straighten
her tail, even as she hissed? How do
you feed a Muse who doesn’t need
you? She’s given birth; he stirs mud.
----Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)
Thanks to Liz Garton Scanlon for discovering the intriguing Picasso sculptures, which provided the inspiration for this month's ekphrastic poetry challenge. (The Poetry Seven plans to respond to an image or piece of art every other month in 2016. I'm already researching which artist to choose when it's my turn...)
Here are the links to my Poetry Sisters' poems (each of us chose a Picasso sculpture from a select group, so there's some overlap in the inspiration images, but glorious uniqueness in the response!)
Andi (taking a breather this month)
More about Picasso's sculptures.
Poetry Friday is hosted today by one of the Poetry Seven's own, Tricia, at The Miss Rumphius Effect.