‘I Shall A Mighty Hunter Be!’

“I shall a mighty hunter be,
The King of Kills, by God’s decree!
Savannahs always guarantee
a vantage camouflaging me.

I’ll lie in wait with sharpened claws
… until her keys unlock our doors!
My human’s finished many chores,
including patronizing stores

for meals to place inside my bowl.
Meow! Dispense the chicken whole!
Provide the victuals! That’s your goal!
Prepare some veal, pâte´, and sole …

Since after feasts I sleep a lot,
I found myself the perfect spot
to dream of feather wands and plot
to catch that fast, red laser dot!”

 

 

E. V. “Beth” Wyler is a poet and writer whose poetry has appeared in The Eclectic Muse:  A Poetry Journal, Feelings of the Heart, Nuthouse Magazine, The Pink Chameleon, The Poet’s Haven, The Rotary Dial, The Society of Classical Poets Journal, The Storyteller, Vox Poetica, WestWard Quarterly, and on the website of USA Patriotism!  Accepted poems have publications pending in The Lyric and The Stray Branch.   


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27 Responses

  1. Joe Tessitore

    So good to see you back!

    “I Shall a Mighty Hunter Be!” made it well worth the wait.

    Reply
    • E. V. Wyler

      Thank you, Joe! Writing and poetry have given me respite through some troubled waters.

      Have a great Labor Day weekend.

      Reply
  2. Peter Hartley

    E V – I don’t like cats.The only times I’m aware of them is when they are pooing on my front lawn, pooing on my back lawn, waking me up at 3.00am with that hideous caterwauling, or stalking and killing anything smaller than themselves. Which makes me wonder why I like this poem. Maybe it’s the impeccable tetrameter or the unpretentious simplicity of its theme. Whatever it is the poem reads well, possibly something to do with that neat symmetry of four feet in four lines in each of four stanzas, and we should see more like it. You can’t knock that sort of perfection in structure if you want to write a good poem. I really like this one (but I still don’t like cats).

    Reply
    • Joe Tessitore

      Was the “four feet in four lines” an oblique reference to four-footed cats?

      Reply
      • E. V. Wyler

        Joe, I really wish I could take credit for that … perhaps it was subconsiously … but in all honesty, I think it was just coincidental.

    • E. V. Wyler

      Hello, Peter. Thank you for the kind words. (I’m sorry the neighborhood strays are causing problems on your property; mine are strictly indoors! By the way, the “savannah” is our living room carpet.

      Reply
      • Peter Hartley

        A responsible cat owner!!! I’m beginning to like that poem even more than I did before.

  3. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    I love this adeptly crafted poem from the wonderfully titled (and entitled) “King of Kills’ ” point of view. The domesticated savagery of this pampered pussy lights up each superb stanza with a wry smile. Great stuff!

    Reply
    • E. V. Wyler

      Thank you. About a week ago, there was a fly in the house. It didn’t stand a chance agains The Wyler Pride. One of my meezers leaped through the air, swatted it mid-flight, knocked it to the ground … and the rest is history.

      Reply
  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    Tetrameter quatrains with monorhyme in each — that makes for a very tightly knitted poem indeed. Although I hate cats, I love this sweet piece. Nice work, Ms. Wyler.

    In the third quatrain, the word “victuals” deserves some comment. Many persons today pronounce it as VIC-tyu- als, which is what in philology is sometimes called “orthographical pronunciation,” or “hypercorrection.” The proper historical pronunciation of the word is “vittles,” which one still hears in some rural dialects. Either case works fine for the metrics of the line, because even with orthographical pronunciation the word can be elided into two syllables (“VIC-tyulls”). If it is pronounced “vittles,” there is no problem at all.

    Reply
    • Sally Cook

      So glad to see someone with the grit to write a cat poem in a time of great anti-cat hysteria !
      This cat/dog thing has gotten way out of hand. It’s like the current love/hate President Trump obsession . Nobody likes it when someone new poops on their lawn. But at least cats cover it up; dogs do not.
      Further, cats are what creative souls always say we are, and profess that we admire — individuals.
      I’ll bet there are a lot of secret cat preference \
      people right here at our own website !

      PS – Yes, vittles it is. My own father often used the word. Unfortunately his eighteenth century habits also included spitting in the street !

      Reply
      • E. V. Wyler

        Here are two quotes from famous cat lovers. Mark Twain said, “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade without further introduction”. Also, Sigmund Freud said, “Time spent with cats is never wasted”.

    • E. V. Wyler

      Thank you, Professor Salemi. Your compliment means a lot to me. The dictionary pronunciation of “victuals” is “vittles”. My pride doesn’t care how it’s pronounced, as long as it’s poured quickly.

      Reply
  5. Joseph S. Salemi

    Sally, I am fed up with cat-worship. We’re becoming like ancient Egypt! When there are TV commercials (produced at great expense) about how you should serve gourmet meals to some goddamned feline in cut-crystal dessert dishes, things have gone too far. And the next cat that dares to enter my garden is going to receive a savage rock from my high-powered slingshot.

    But if you are indeed enamored of cats, please read “The Achievement of the Cat” by Saki (H.H. Munro). It’s on-line. Saki loved writing about cats, and this brief essay is one of his best. I’d also recommend his short story “Tobermory.”

    By the way, I always make it a point to spit in the street. I love the shocked look it evokes on the faces of stupid liberals. Since I’m always wearing a military T-shirt and carrying the heavy hickory stick that the poet Charles Southerland gave me, they don’t dare to utter a peep of protest.

    Reply
    • Peter Hartley

      Cats may cover it up in their own gardens: they certainly DO NOT cover it up in mine. NEVER , and they have no shame – they’ll carry on with the business in hand even if I bang on the window or blast one of my bugles at them, because they know I can’t get out there fast enough. They’ll just stare at me with impudence and that look of superiority you’ll only get from a cat. The only responsible cat owner is the one who keeps it indoors and makes it use a litter tray.

      Reply
    • Sally Cook

      Yes, Tobemory is an excellent story, and no, I am not enamored of cats – just find them to be good and intelligent pets. Like all animals they have their disgusting moments — because they are Animals.
      Think you would have enjoyed my father. He too carried a big stick and had a good sense of humor.. By the way, a few years ago you sent Bob a Marine T-shirt which gradually shrank until it now fits me. I’ve been wearing it with pride.

      Reply
    • Sally Cook

      Margaret, l thank you for all the excellent leads to cat literature. Yes, Tobemory is an excellent story, and no, Joe, I am not enamored of cats – just find them to be good and intelligent pets. Like all animals they have their disgusting moments — because they are Animals.
      Think you would have enjoyed my father. He too carried a big stick and had a good sense of humor.. By the way, a few years ago you sent Bob a Marine T-shirt which gradually shrank until it now fits me. I’ve been wearing it with pride.

      Reply
  6. Margaret Coats

    This is a beautifully planned poem, moving quickly from a grandiose feline self-concept to a miniscule dream focus, and in between acknowledging the cat’s presumed ordinary interest in life. The four-by-four-by-four symmetry noticed by Peter and explicated by Joe T. adds numerology to its formal artistry noted by Dr. Salemi.

    My favorite cat poem in English is Thomas Gray’s “Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat,” an excellent example of a burlesque ode that features humor similar in effect to E. V. Wyler’s humor here.

    The most alluring of cat poems is surely Baudelaire’s “Le Chat,” best consulted at fleursdumal.org, where several English translations follow the exquisite original.

    And with regard to Sally’s comment about cats and us individualist artists, there is nothing better than the Old Irish poem “Pangur Ban.” It is best heard on youtube, where you need to put “pangur ban seamus heaney” in the search bar to locate a fine 4-minute reading of the Irish, followed by Heaney’s English translation, from a memorial service for Heaney in the Harvard Memorial Church! Nobel Prize winner Heaney did write some good formal poems, but he was less careful about his rhymes than either the Old Irish poet or E. V. Wyler.

    Reply
  7. C.B. Anderson

    I like cats, E V., especially when they like me, which is most of the time. And I like cat poems when they are as well executed as yours is. What’s often lost in the cat/dog comparison is that although dogs are technically more intelligent, cats exhibit powers of intuition that few (if any) dogs could ever hope to equal. I grew up with cats and so discovered a few special spots, the caressing of which keeps them coming back for more: the bridge of their nose, the place just behind their ears, the first joint of their tailbones, and, if you are very careful, their exposed bellies. Tickling the last will sometimes elicit a defensive response. My neighbor’s gray male cat (now deceased) did great work in my yard by keeping the chipmunk (striped rat) population down. Gus will be sorely missed.

    Reply
    • E. V. Wyler

      Thank you! Cats make excellent companion pets. They are, indeed, very intuitive, and I think their intelligence is underestimated.

      Reply
  8. David Watt

    E.V., you have captured the character of a domestic cat extremely well. The humorous element is balanced, and entertaining.

    Reply
  9. Jeff Kemper

    E.V., what a wonderful poem about the best species of pet imaginable. It appears that Peter is on the verge of becoming an ailurophile.

    Reply
    • E. V. Wyler

      Thank you. Having had fish, birds, gerbils, hamsters, and a rabbit, I can wholeheartedly say that in the work/responsibility vs. companionship ratio, cats are, indeed, the best pets. I highly recommend getting a cat … or two … or three … or … (okay, I’ll stop right there!)

      Reply
  10. Sally Cook

    Dear E.V. –
    AJudging from your excellent poem and your remarkss, you really understand the feline approach to life. Be amusing, eat, sleep, fantasize.
    For years we lived on one side of a lovely park, where discarded and lost pets would congregate. Together with neighbors, we rescued dogs and cats – cleaned them up, had vets look them over, found them homes. we saved some unique individuals. There were a few pure-breds; they were easy to place. But we never found two that looked or acted alike. The more intelligent animals found it easy to communicate.
    Our last cat came to us almost inarticulate – no one had talked to him so he could do nothing but croak. Well, he soon picked up purring, and then attended seminars on miaowing. Just a few months before he passed, he started barking – it was something he had picked up on the street. A few days after his demise I kept hearing the dull thud of what I thought was a basketball against the back of the house. I ignored it, but as it kept on at intervals I thought it must be a neighborhood kid, and went back to give him what-for. Nobody there, but then I heard the shrill sharp bark of my dead cat. He had come back for a final bark !
    And so it goes with them – individuals all.

    Reply
    • E. V.

      In our neighborhood, there is a family of strays, and I recently began putting food out for them; one bowl in the morning and sometimes one midday. Many mornings, when I open up the blinds, someone is already out there waiting for breakfast. My (indoor-only) cats love to look out the window and watch the stray(s) eat. I wonder if my pride appreciates how good they have it living in a climate-controlled home with regular feedings, soft beds, clean litters, brushings, vet visits, and … of course … lots of love.

      Reply

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