Concrete Cat Summary
“Concrete Cat” is an example of a concrete poem, a poem just giving focus to the physical picture and not the imagination, emotion and language. This type of poem is written for eyes and not for mind and heart. It does not appeal to the heart because it doesn’t emphasize on emotion and thought. It is written in the short form, which is also called “reduced language”. Words do not follow the regular pattern of the poems. Words are scattered in such a way that they form the real portrait of the thing to be expressed by the poem. The chief concern of such a poem is with the physical appearance of poetry- not primarily with ideas or emotions and also not with language as we ordinarily use.
This poem says something about a cat and its “catness” in action. Ear, eye, mouth, whisker, tail, etc. all sketched on the page denote both physical and abstract meanings. The middle stripe is the only place where language aspires toward poetry and becomes figurative. This middle stripe shows stomach part which says much about the human world and human activities.
Unlike other poem, the words are arranged in such a way that emotions are kept in a shadow and real portrait is highlighted. From the words written in different shapes and styles we understand the poem. The poem creates such a situation that we can see the real picture of cat immediately after we read the poem. Outer appearances seem to be important than emotions and thoughts. Different parts of cat’s body are presented by the use of words in their respective places.
Generally poems are written in certain stanza and generally follow the traditional pattern. Many poems are written in ornamental language. But, this poem doesn’t follow that pattern. This poem is made for our eyes rather than our ear. The meaning of the poem is nothing other than the portrait of the cat. The poet has used craftsmanship.