Flowers—Lines—Ice

Black Cat

Black Cat

A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place
your sight can knock on, echoing; but here
within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze
will be absorbed and utterly disappear:

just as a raving madman, when nothing else
can ease him, charges into his dark night
howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels
the rage being taken in and pacified.

She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen
into her, so that, like an audience,
she can look them over, menacing and sullen,
and curl to sleep with them. But all at once

as if awakened, she turns her face to yours;
and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny,
inside the golden amber of her eyeballs
suspended, like a prehistoric fly.

                       –Rainer Maria Rilke
Midnight

27 responses

  1. I’ve heard it said that there is only One Black Cat.

    June 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm

  2. Oh – you know Rilke.
    I thought he would not be so well known in the english language area. But perhaps it’ s “only” your good education… 😉
    Rilke lived for some month only a few kilometers from where I live here – together with his muse Lou Andreas-Salomé. My daughters high school is named after Rilke. 😀

    June 25, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    • Interesting! Rilke is actually quite popular here. 🙂

      June 26, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      • He’s a strongly growing popularity in Germany too. His work is kind of modern and fitting in our time again – perhaps this is the reason…

        June 26, 2013 at 8:05 pm

        • Yes, I think it is the relevancy of his work, and its accessibility, that has contributed to his popularity.

          June 26, 2013 at 8:08 pm

  3. Rilke was (strangely) well known in Japan though,
    he was regarded to be a friend of heart-aching young girl. 🙂
    (so, it must became to rare commodity these days)

    Most of my cats were black cat. Though, one was killed by a
    psychopath. (with natural consequence, that man hanged himself later.)
    John Ruskin was institutionalized after killed his cat. And the street of
    that psychopath lived was Ruskin Walk. —– all those people believing
    black is the sign of evil. (But, it’s a first sign of mental trouble). Sadly.

    June 25, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    • Black cats are so beautiful. There are many at the shelter where I volunteer. Unfortunately, many people have negative associations with the black cat and are unwilling to consider adopting one. What a tragic loss of your cat that was killed.

      June 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm

      • I also once had a black One! She was called Leila, because she was so graceful and gentle. She was very beautiful too and she knew it. 😉

        June 26, 2013 at 8:00 pm

        • She sounds lovely. Lovely Leila. That’s one of the things I love about cats: they know they are beautiful.

          June 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm

          • Oh yes…and I am sure that they have deep thoughts! They have so much character! They can be jealous and resentful and very loyal (if they like to).

            June 26, 2013 at 8:10 pm

          • Agreed on all points! 🙂

            June 26, 2013 at 8:12 pm

  4. You’ve captured the cat’s sinuous power wonderfully. This photograph positively slinks. The poem’s nice too:)

    June 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    • Thank you, Richard. This cat was both curious about me and somewhat suspicious. I managed to click the shutter before she ran off.

      June 26, 2013 at 7:56 pm

  5. That’s a great portrait, such fierce eyes, hidden in inky softness 🙂

    June 25, 2013 at 11:06 pm

  6. I had a cat like that a long, long time ago.

    June 25, 2013 at 11:22 pm

  7. Stunning!
    The poem and photo are a perfect pair.

    June 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    • Thank you so much. I’m glad you find that the two work so well together.

      June 26, 2013 at 7:58 pm

  8. Awesome!

    June 26, 2013 at 5:56 pm

  9. elmediat

    Very effective composition. Like this processing – works purrfectly. 🙂

    June 26, 2013 at 11:35 pm

  10. How appropriate that my kitty tried to walk across the laptop at the very moment I was commenting. lolz Great piece!

    June 28, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    • 😀 That’s great. Thank you so much for your comment and visit.

      July 2, 2013 at 2:36 am

  11. Brilliant… photo + the poem = beautiful!

    July 28, 2013 at 5:53 pm

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