Tipping a Hat to Childhood

As it is National Poetry Month I felt it was time to add another poem to the Miscellany. In honour of the cylinder full of shed fur I emptied from the vacuum cleaner I have decided to share The Truth About Cats. It is, as might be fairly clear, inspired by a well-known children’s book.

Those wise in the ways of obscure verse-forms will already have deduced it is a pantoum; a poem where alternate lines of each verse rhyme and the second and fourth lines of each verse become the first and third lines of the next verse, i.e.

1 a
2 b
3 a
4 b

2 b
5 c
4 b
6 c

5 c
7 d

I read several Dr Seuss books when I was young and remember not liking them, and of them all the book I liked the least was the Cat in the Hat. I do not remember with perfect clarity that far back, however I suspect the exhortation to chaos offended my more rigid younger self. Possibly ironically, Seussian memes are now as much a part of my casual speech as any who grew up in his worlds. Now, through the mystical power of poetry, I have finally achieved balance.

Do you have any books from childhood that still haunt you?

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