Concrete Cat is an imagistic poem which is not concerned with the emotions, feelings, ideas and ordinary language. The proper placement of letter and words gives a concrete picture of a cat. The poem shows catness in action. The capital letters ‘A’ in ear, Y in eye and U in mouth stand for vertically erected ears, wide open eyes and tongue of the cat. The trunk of the cat has been shown with a series of the words stripe in the horizontal lines. The whiskers are wonderful and the tongue is moving towards dish. The word ‘mouse’ is upside down to suggest that it has already been dead. The poet has used pun in the middle part of the structure of the cat. The two words tripes and stripes are combined together. This figurative language gives poetic sense. As a whole, the poem is very humorous and funny.
Important Questions and Answers:
a. What possible pun might be seen in the Cat’s middle strip?
Ans: The cat’s middle stripes can be read as tripes which means stomach tissue of an animal for use as food. This suggests that the cat’s stomach is filled with the tripes of the mouse that it has eaten. The two words overlap each other.
b. Describe “Concrete Cat” as a concrete poem.
Ans: The middle strip refers to the tripes (intestine) or stomach tissue of the cat where food or useless things is found. The chief concern of the poem is with the physical appearance of the poetry. The pun in the cat’s middle strip is the only place where language desired towards poetry and becomes symbolic. The whole human world is concerned with the stomach. All activities either good or bad are concerned with this part of the body.
c. Why is the poem funny?
Ans: The physical structure of the poem and the combination of different meaningful words make the poem humorous. Because of the different arrangement of the words, the poem looks like the puzzle of the children. The whiskers of the cat are very wonderful. The symbolic upside down representation of the mouse is very funny.