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Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

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4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  17,251 Ratings  ·  835 Reviews
Mr. T.S. Eliot's intimate friends received, from time to time, typewritten verses which were apparently anonymous but which were always identifiable. The poems which concern cats are presented here.
Paperback, 64 pages
Published 2010 by Faber and Faber (first published 1939)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Manny
Dec 05, 2008 Manny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes cats and poetry
To My New Feline Friend

I know an Abyssinian
her name in French is Silicate

The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be given for Goodreads policy reasons)
helen the bookowl
Nov 25, 2014 helen the bookowl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're a cat-lover (as I am), then this is a must-read for you! This is a charming book written in verse, and each chapter is dedicated to a different kind of cat with its own kind of personality. This just goes to show how many personalities a cat can really have and I loved it :)
Laurel Hicks
Someone should set this to music.
Hussam Hassan Aql
ديوان لطيف جدا :D
..لمحبي القطط
Teresa
May 25, 2013 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: g-poesia, n-usa, e5
Gosto de poesia; gosto de gatos. Adorei este livro.
Mas, se não gostasse de poesia nem de gatos, de certeza que, mesmo assim, adoraria este livro.
Durante cerca de meia hora, pespegou-se-me um sorriso nos lábios que, periodicamente, desaparecia para ser trocado por uma gargalhada...
Quer os poemas, quer as ilustrações são lindos e divertidos e, embora T. S. Eliot os tivesse escrito para crianças, qualquer adulto se enternecerá com eles.
Um livro que recomendo a quem gosta de gatos e não só...

"Há nes
...more
Petergiaquinta
Jun 30, 2012 Petergiaquinta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
So, I'm really more of a dog guy, and I don't know if that's the reason or if it was the horribly ridiculous musical or what, but despite considering T.S. Eliot as one of my favorite poets during my college days and despite owning a copy of this book for at least fifteen years, I'd never read these poems until today.

I'm curious what motivated Eliot to write these funny and clever little ditties for kitties--the writer feels more like Edward Lear than the elusive, erudite author of "The Hollow Me
...more
Leslie
Feb 10, 2014 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, nobel-winner
I had always thought of T.S. Eliot as a difficult and gloomy poet, so these poems were a revelation! Such light-hearted fun which really benefits from being read aloud & the Edward Gorey illustrations were marvelous too.
Kwoomac
This book was on my Recommendations book shelf, I hope because I'm a huge fan of Edward Gorey, not a crazy cat lady. Unfortunately for me, my library didn't have the edition that Gorey illustrated. So, I read this one. Actually, the illustrations were the only thing I enjoyed about the book. I felt like Eliot was trying too hard to be clever with the names and none of them worked for me. Cap'n Wussenfuss, now that would've been a good name but he didn't come up with that name, I did. They have n ...more
Coos Burton
Encontré el libro hace muy poco y no lo pensé dos veces, ya se me había escapado en una ocasión y no planeaba que me sucediera otra vez. Se trata de una hermosa colección de poemas sobre gatos con personalidades muy peculiares. Cada texto está acompañado por el lóbrego arte de Edward Gorey, y este fue el empuje que más me impulsó a comprar este libro, ya que es uno de mis artistas favoritos. Y por supuesto, siendo yo una cat lover sentí que no podía perdérmelo. Realmente lo disfruté muchísimo, e ...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Sep 19, 2012 Nathan "N.R." Gaddis added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cats
Recommended to Nathan "N.R." by: Cats
[Just like a BUMbersticker:]

Like this Review if you like cats but hate Cats (and can tell the dIFFérance).



the ReVue:
T.S. Elliot poetry about cats.

Edward Gorey drawings about cats.

Cats doing what cats do.

A winning trilogy of characters, that.
Annette
Jun 14, 2017 Annette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dedicate this to my furbaby, Annushka.

 photo image_zpsrrtckgsl.jpeg
Connie
I read this years ago before I saw the musical "Cats". The book is charming and funny, and really captures the personalities of the cats. It's a wonderful little book!
Jacqueline
Да ти се прииска да си котка. Целият си достойнство, класа, изящество- идва ти отвътре. Животът ти- или в баронмюнхаузенски стил, или синоним на охолство и домашен лукс. Т.е. никога не е скучно.
Да не говорим пък с каква грация и вкус си го живеят.

Фантастичен T.S. Eliot. Усмихна ме.

description


***
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or chеrish his pride?

***
When you notice a c
...more
Florence Liu
Looking at the reviews of this book, I'm slightly ashamed to say that the only reason I read this collection of poetry was because of a musical. It's not because I wanted to read more of T.S. Eliot's amazing work, it's because I watched Cats. I am an Andrew Lloyd Webber junkie. It all started when I watched The Phantom of the Opera, and things just got worse when I watched cats. That being said, Andrew Lloyd Webber is also responsible for some of the books that are on my to-read list - this bein ...more
Книжни Криле
Познавам хора, които не харесват особено Т. С. Елиът, познавам и хора, които не си падат по котки... Но не мога да си представя кой не би се прехласнал по "Популярна книга за Котките от Стария опосум"! А двама човека, които са се прехласнали по нея и то не на шега са Стефан Радев и Иван Брегов. Именно те се заемат с предизвикателството тази книга да стигне до нас, и то вероятно във възможно най-красивата си и пълна форма! Прочетете ревюто на "Книжни Криле:

https://knijnikrile.wordpress.com/201...
Davie Bennett
Feb 16, 2008 Davie Bennett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Little-known fact, this book of children's poetry by T.S. Eliot was the inspiration for the cringe-worthy Broadway musical, "Cats." Many of the poems are the lyrics, verbatim, for the show. But if you, like so many others, are revulsed or terrified by the thought of those cavorting, feline freaks on stage, well, just try and put it out of your mind. These are fun poems for kids, and would make great bedtime reading! Unless you are a dog family, in which case you should probably go with "Clifford ...more
Matthew
Apr 12, 2017 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Listen to T.S. Eliot read "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzJNYZsVL_c9EMgdSM0ZQ_5y3De8WZfkp


The Naming of Cats

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey--
All of
...more
Tweedledum
Schrödinger's cat

Schrödinger's cat's a mystery cat, he illustrates the laws;
The complicated things he does have no apparent cause;
He baffles the determinist, and drives him to despair
For when they try to pin him down--the quantum cat's not there!

Schrödinger's cat's a mystery cat, he's given to random decisions;
His mass is slightly altered by a cloud of virtual kittens;
The vacuum fluctuations print his traces in the air
But if you try to find him, the quantum cat's not there!

Schrödinger's ca
...more
Chana
Purrrr-fect!

It is more rhyming than poetry, kind of an early Dr. Suess or Shel Silverstein; funny rhymes that people can laugh about. And it is about cats, what could be better? I was charmed by the use of language, the creative rhyming and the cats themselves.

From "The Old Gumbie Cat"

But when the day's hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat's work is but hardly begun
And when all the family's in bed and asleep,
She slips down the stairs to the basement to creep.
She is deeply concerned w
...more
Kim
When looking through lists of poetry books trying to decide which to read for my book challenge I knew I couldn't pass this one. Cats the Musical, and this book, are my wifes' favourite and she named my cat after Mr Mistoffelees.

It was an amusing little book with fun, kitty stories though was a touch racist in parts. After reading certain poems I watched YouTube clips of the Cats version and found they never quite fit what I had in my head. The tempo of the poems in the book is quite fast which
...more
Catriona
Dec 19, 2012 Catriona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: december
This is a whimsical book full of adventure and fun
With cats playing and sleeping and those who even run
I think it was the best book ever, but
I laughed so hard I almost busted a gut!
Nothing is better, not even in the slightest
Read it again? I sure mightest!
With the magic Mr. Mistoffelees, so quiet and sly
Quite the mysterious guy.
Or
* Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity
He’s broken human law, he defies the law of gravity*
I recommend this book to you all,
Though the stories are quite tal
...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
"Before a Cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is needed, like a dish of cream;
And you might now and then supply
Some caviare, or Strassburg Pie,
Some potted grouse, or salmon paste--
He's sure to have his personal taste.
(I know a Cat, who makes a habit
Of eating nothing else but rabbit,
And when he's finished, licks his paws
So's not to waste the onion sauce.)"

: )

Very cute and pleasant.
Morgan
Another quick read I found in the house. I liked this, but not as much as I thought I would. I liked parts of T.S. Eliot's Waste Land that I have read, but this seemed too goofy for me to fully like. I'm also not a cat lover, so that could be another reason. And, most of the poems have been ruined by the damn musical. You can't help but sing most of the poems. At least there was a cat named Morgan at the end that saved me from disliking this hairball.
Rebecca
Jul 16, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, faves
T.S. Eliot oughta immortalise my cat. *nods*
*envisions dueling Lloyd Webber for her memory*

Photobucket
Sue
Jul 16, 2016 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love cats and T.S Elliot. Why I have never read this before is a mystery.
Cameron
Jan 23, 2017 Cameron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
Nostalgic
David Johnson
It's mostly silly fluff, but fun nonetheless. And, of course, some of the poems just had to be sung aloud.
Richie
Jun 25, 2016 Richie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I mean, it's Cats. Need I say more?
amelia
Jul 31, 2016 amelia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
now I just want to watch CATS the musical all over again
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Characteristics of Possums 1 2 Jun 21, 2017 12:05PM  
1001 Children's B...: June 2012: Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats 3 46 Nov 05, 2015 08:00PM  
Was T.S. Eliot a racist? 41 144 Apr 26, 2015 02:12PM  
What's The Name o...: SOLVED. Cats are mortified by the silly names we give them [s] 20 96 May 06, 2014 10:29AM  
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Thomas Stearns Eliot was a poet, dramatist and literary critic. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948 "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry." He wrote the poems The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, The Hollow Men, Ash Wednesday, and Four Quartets; the plays Murder in the Cathedral and The Cocktail Party; and the essay Tradition and the Individ ...more
More about T.S. Eliot...

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“The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, or George or Bill Bailey -
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter -
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum -
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover -
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.”
57 likes
“The name that no human research can discover--
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.”
44 likes
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