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Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939)

by T. S. Eliot

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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6,703901,401 (3.99)199
These playful verses by a celebrated poet have delighted readers and cat lovers around the world ever since they were gathered for publication in 1939. As Valerie Eliot has pointed out, there are a number of references to cats in T.S. Eliot's work, but it was to his godchildren, particularly Tom Faber and Alison Tandy, in the 1930s, that he first revealed himself as "Old Possum" and for whom he composed his poems.… (more)
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» See also 199 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
I wish cats were real ( )
1 vote kfick | Mar 31, 2024 |
This book had been on my shelves for a VERY long time, so I decided to make this the first book I read for National Poetry Month.

I was so impossibly charmed by the first poem, "The Naming of Cats!" Especially the lines:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

Listen. Ineffable has been one of my top ten favorite words ever since reading Good Omens back in my college days. But effanineffable!

After that poem, the rest were cute enough. I can see how they were designed to charm children, but the passage of time and dislocation of place has soften the corners of some of the particulars. Especially some of the tired Asian stereotypes.

But the illustrations by Edward Gorey won me back over any time my interest started to dim. ( )
  greeniezona | Feb 22, 2024 |
I love some songs from the musical and found myself reading these and actually singing them instead of just plain reading them. Just a delightfully light read in general! ( )
  viiemzee | Feb 20, 2023 |
A book of practical cats? Cats can be practical? Tell me more.

This is the first book I've read by T. S. Eliot and the poems made me smirk and read in wonder because it's so creative. I also rarely read poetry, so it was an interesting experience. ( )
  leah_markum | Oct 28, 2022 |
Funny, catchy poems. Macavity: The Mystery Cat was my favorite. Loved the Edward Gorey illustrations. ( )
  BibliophageOnCoffee | Aug 12, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eliot, T. S.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bentley, NicolasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gorey, EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hallqvist, Britt G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scheffler, AlexIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
This Book is respectfully dedicated to those friends who have assisted its composition by their encouragement, criticism and suggestions: and in particular to Mr. T. E. Faber, Miss Alison Tandy, Miss Susan Wolcott, Miss Susanna Morley, and the Man in White Spats.

O. P.
First words
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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is a work by T.S. Eliot.  Please do not combine with the Diary-Calendar of the same name.  Thank you!
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These playful verses by a celebrated poet have delighted readers and cat lovers around the world ever since they were gathered for publication in 1939. As Valerie Eliot has pointed out, there are a number of references to cats in T.S. Eliot's work, but it was to his godchildren, particularly Tom Faber and Alison Tandy, in the 1930s, that he first revealed himself as "Old Possum" and for whom he composed his poems.

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