The Cat Metamorphosed Into A Woman

La chatte métamorphosée en femme

It was not happiness that came over her body
as you may have thought, but puzzlement
at the gradual elongation of trunk, the narrowing
into a waist, thinning of white fur until what
was left gave her face a peaked appearance,
like one stunned by a ghost.  But it was only the ghost
of herself she saw in the hall mirror as she slipped
the red blouse over her new breasts, stepped

into the red skirt that covered pubic mound
and spreading hips.  How awkward she was
in this unwanted body.  She sat on the Victorian
chair at the small pie crust-table,
her eyes red-rimmed, empty,
immeasurably sad, as she stared at us.
She leaned forward a bit on her arms.
She didn’t know what else to do with them.

Patricia Fargnoli

The story is from Aesop:

A young Fellow that was passionately in Love with a Cat made it his humble Suit to Venus to turn Puss into a Woman. The Transformation was wrought in the twinkling of an Eye, and out she comes, a very bucksome Lass. The doating Sot took her home to his Bed; and bad fair for a Litter of Kittens by her that Night: But as the loving Couple lay snugging together, a Toy took Venus in the Head, to try if the Cat had chang’d her Manners with her Shape; and so for Experiment, turn’d a Mouse loose into the Chamber. The Cat, upon this Temptation, started out of the Bed, and without any regard to the Marriage-Joys, made a leap at the Mouse, which Venus took for so high an Affront, that she turn’d the Madam into a Puss again.

THE MORAL. The extravagant Transports of Love, and the wonderful Force of Nature, are unaccountable; the one carries us out of our selves, and the other brings us back again.

THE ILLUSTRATIONS. Are from the fantastic Etchings of Marc Chagal.

JUST BECAUSE there’s a moral DOESN’T MEAN that change is impossible. REMEMBER this is just what happened to ONE CAT.

I LIKE THE IDEA of taking one of these Chagal pictures and the FABLE and stepping inside the subjects THOUGHTS and EMOTIONS at this time…

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1 Comment »

  1. slpmartin said

    Such an interesting way to generate a poem…well done…thanks for the comments also.

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