PosterĄG Valerie Chen at 13:5:27 3/17/98 from c445-18.svdcc.fju.edu.tw
| The poem was composed by seven stanzas with six
lines each one. Every stanza had different rhymes
but they all followed one same rhyme scheme:
aabccb. And all b rhymed lines (the 3rd and the
last line of each stanza) were all indented.
The first stanza described the setting where we
can picture out a beautiful tabby female cat named
Selima leaning on a tall vase and looking down at
the water within the vase.
The second stanza gave us a detailed information
about the appearance of the cat. She seemed to be
very happy and concentrated. She was very
beautiful and elegant for the speaker compared her
with velvet, jet and emerald as if the cat were a
noble lady wearing fine clothes and precious
At the third stanza, after finished describing the
cat, the speaker went on telling us the reason
that had attracted the animal's attention. There
were two red fishes swimming so dexterously and
leisurely in the vase just like the nymphs of
water. And what made the fishes looked still more
splendid was the glitter that came out from their
scale so shiny like gold.
The cat, whose desire was burning for the fishes,
tried to seize them at any cost until she fall
into the water herself. The poor cat mewed for
help with all her efforts, but neither gods nor
her masters heard her cries.
In the last stanza, the speaker ended the poem
with a moral for us. Through this story, he made
us aware of human's greed that could drive us to
serious consequences, even death.
I like the poem very much. It was very funny.
Even though this was a simple story of a cat
catching fishes, the author personified the cat
and the fishes, making the poem much more vivid
and vigorous. He described step by step every
action so clearly that we too could imagine
perfectly the scene when reading it. And the
speaker used a quite humorous tone that even the
scene when the poor cat was drowning and asking
for help looked funny.
As we have already said before, the author
compared a cat's wish for fish with human's
desire for gold, wealth. In order to make the cat
more humanized, the author described it as a rich,
elegant lady wearing full of jewels. We see that
in the beginning the speaker used the word
'demurest' to describe the cat. Actually this
word has a double meaning: to be dignified and
prudent (behave correctly); or to pretend to be
dignified and prudent. Soon after we finished
reading, we realized that the cat was not cautious
at all but stupid, greedy and vulgar. She was
just like those women who have no other interests
except for beautiful things: furs, jewels and gold
("What female heart can gold despise?"). However,
this desire of wanting and possessing is not only
in women but also in men. People just can't stop
wanting for money as cats can never reject fishes.
But this temptation can blind us and bring
terrible consequences for not everything you wish
is destined to you and not all beautiful things
are precious ("Not all that temps your wandering
eyes / And heedless hearts, is lawful prize; / Nor
all that glisters, gold.").
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