Another Song of Innocence: The Kitten

My loyal readers may have noticed that I like William Blake a lot. In his first major collection, the Songs of Innocence and Experience, each poem about Innocence is paired with one about Experience. His best-known poem, The Tyger, is paired with one about a lamb. I’ve never thought it was a good pairing; not symmetric aenough. So I thought I’d try to improve on it. Please note that I am here playing with Blake’s concepts and vocabulary. This was dedicated to Terry Seamons, on Buddha’s birthday, 10/10/10.

 

Kitten, kitten, purring bright

On my covers in the night,

Who could hate a deity

That makes a loving mite like thee?

 

Not a furnace, but a womb

Birthed thee in my sleeping room.

I was awakened by thy peeps

But peacefully fell back asleep.

 

In the morning, on the floor,

I counted you, and you were four:

An orange, a grey, a black and white,

And you, the one all tabby striped.

 

And your mother smiled at me,

As proud as any cat can be.

I know He smiled, his work to see,

For He who made you, cat, made me.

 

And every atom that you are

Was forged within a dying star,

For when the stars ascend their pyres,

To shower space with tongues of fire,

 

These become angelic choirs

Singing praise with quantum lyres.

Thus the universe conspires

To forge our washers and our dryers.

 

I call my girls to come and see,

Just for now to stop their game.

They peek beneath my bed to see;

They squeal with joy and give them names.

 

Lord, let me sing of innocence

More lightly than experience.

Kitten, I love my deity

Who makes a loving mite like thee.

 


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