Random anecdote time: My grandmother had a slightly eccentric habit of clipping out pictures and phrases about cats and sticking them all around the two bathrooms she had. (When I say ‘bathrooms’, there was actually only a toilet and washbasin in one, and a toilet in the other with a washbasin in the ‘real’ bathroom next door. But I wrote ‘toilets’ to start with, and it gave me a mental image of picture-covered-u-bends…) Anyway, she has been dead for many a year, but a whole lot of the phrases/poems/extracts about cats have stayed with me. There was one, I recall, which read:
The gardener’s cat called Mignonette
She hates the cold, she hates the wet.
She sits amongst the greenhouse flowers
And dreams for hours – and hours – and hours.
Now, in one of my more pretentious moments as a 13 year old (fresh back from holidaying at my grandmother’s house), I wrote a poem. I felt a little guilty because it was the poem I’ve just typed out that gave me inspiration, and you can see links between the two. But I doubt if the original author would feel that I had stolen their poem. Mine?
Oh rose! Thou rose of ruby red
When summer comes, lift up thy head,
And dream away the passing hours
Sitting alone from the other flowers.
Oh rose! No greater beauty known.
A summer flower, yet one alone.
As pure and simple as is gold;
A sign of love from days of old.
Oh rose! No flower quite so sweet.
As cold as ice in days of hear.
In summer thou art dearly blessed,
But then in winter, sleep and rest.
Now, before you comment – I know, I know, it is not the most wonderful poem ever written. And even when I wrote it, I was sometimes embarrassed by it. But it’s interesting how one thing may trigger another. And my grandmother’s bathrooms will live in my memory forever 🙂