Magazine | April 8, 2019, Issue

Cats

(Essam Al-Sudani/Reuters)

Warm lovers and scholars of austerity
Love as well within their season of fruition
Cats of sweet demeanor and proud disposition,
Who like them are cautious and live lazily.
Friends of scientific fact and gratification,
Each seeks silence and the dark’s horrific force.
Erebus would have them for his funeral horse,
Could they bend to serfdom their self-admiration.
Cats absorb in thought that noble attitude
Of great, reclining Sphinxes stretched in solitude,
Who seem to fall asleep in dreams that have no end;
Magic sparkle fills their lush loins as they rise,
And plots of goldenness, as well as fine-grained sand,
Vaguely star the mysticism in their eyes.

— Translated by Jennifer Reeser

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The Week

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