Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Reading Keats with my cat

Shorts c/o BOODWAH ; Crop top: Soprano ; Socks: Target

Now and then I find myself overcome with an urge - a need, even - to read poetry. I'm not a regular poetry reader, but I have my favourites: Emily Dickinson, Rod McKuen, e.e. cummings, Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg, and, of course, John Keats. When I was 18 and backpacking Europe, I got to see Keats's house in London. I remember it being so surreal. It was like my soul and mind were detached from my body as I walked through the house - my soul and mind soaring, completely transported to a different place in time and in being.

I never realized how much poetry and prose could move me until I picked up Keats when I was 16. This was due, in large part, because it was the first time I read poetry at my own command. Through middle and high school we had poetry units, reading & dissecting the words even of some of the poets I just listed as my favourites. But we never read Keats and he was something that came to me very organically and moved me much the same. I never cared too much for poetry until I began to read it on my own, not having to follow laborious lectures and discussions about it, or write essays about it or, even worse, write our own poetry and get graded on it.

I enjoy Keats because he expresses love in such beauty that I think we have all experienced - and have also been gutted by. The world through Keats's eyes must have been glorious and also tremendously foreboding at the same time. The other week I checked out a collection of Emily Dickinson poems from the library. (When I went to sign the little card in the back of the book, I realized that I was the last to check it out, 4 or more years ago, with no recollection of having done so ever.) I love Dickinson because of how dark and gloomy she is. She speaks to me, and knowing her background makes the poems even more hauntingly brilliant. e.e. cummings is beautiful and whimsical. Walt Whitman is gritty and prolific - the truest of American poets, I would argue. Ginsberg has so much flow and imagination - a constant stream of the world consciously and unconsciously around him. And then there's Rod McKuen - I might call him my guilty pleasure. He fits his era and his poems about cats warm all the lonesome crevices of my soul, just as my cats do, all 3 of them.

Most of my time at home is spent hanging out with my cat Gogo. We adopted him from Animal Ark last April after Moses died. After months and months of staunchly refusing to ever get another cat, my mother and I sat down to talk about the possibility of adopting one. My father had been moping about Moses for over a month and we couldn't put up with it anymore. We decided that a cat would be the best solution to our problem. My father loves cats and had put his favourite cat, Pumpkin, down just three years earlier. But my mother doesn't like cats and I'm allergic to them, so we had originally vetoed any notion of taking another feline in. (I'm talking like we didn't have a cat at this time but we did - Peter, who was my 9th birthday present, and is so neurotic and anti-social that I don't really even consider him a cat.) But we found Gogo, originally named Dodger, and my dad fell in love with him and so, we welcomed another cat into our home. (We renamed him Gogo because a) Dodger is a cliche, boring name and b) he looks like he's wearing Gogo boots on his back feet.) Over time, I found myself fawning over Gogo (and applying ridiculous amounts of eye drops to deal with the allergies) and fell head over heels for him.

I took in another cat in August, Little Girl, after she lived in our backyard for several weeks. I fell in love with her and pleaded my parents to take her in. As it turns out, she's a total brat and I ended up not liking her - but my dad did! And so, he and I "traded" cats. Gogo's crazy over me (he prefers women to men) and Little Girl is fairly indifferent to me, so it seemed like a fair trade. Now Gogo and I hang out all the time, affectionately head butting each other and sharing food (he's big into dairy and anything salty - just like me!). Nothing calms me in the same way that Gogo does when he head butts me and presses his little paw into my lips for a kiss. Yeah, he's a lover and a total softy!

So, back to poetry. Something about these shorts was reminding me of Keats. I saw them sitting in a pile of my denim cut offs and was overwhelmed with this feeling that Keats's 19th century love poems fill me with. Maybe it's the velvet, or the high waist, or the how closely the cling to my body. Perhaps it's the floral print, reminding me of gaudy tapestry or wallpaper from some old house. Whatever it is, I put them on and started to dream, much in the same way that I do when reading Keats.

I love when clothes can completely change my thoughts or mood. Sometimes my outfit is a reflection of how I'm feeling at the moment, and sometimes my mood or thoughts are a reflection of my outfit. In this case, it was the latter. They were sent to me courtesy of BOODWAH, same as this pair, but they make me feel like a completely different person than the leopard print ones. The leopard print make me feel all sexy and '50s pin up, while this floral pair makes me feel full of day dreams and reading in the summer grass. I have a feeling that these shorts will lead to many more dreams and adventures this summer.

p.s. This print is available in a romper/playsuit (which I love love love) as well as hot pants!

Tonight I'm going to settle down and read some Keats - and probably some Rod McKuen, too. I've also checked out Sonia Sotomayor's autobiography from the library. I don't know too much about her, and I don't always agree with her politics, so I'd like to learn a bit more about her background and convictions. I'm so glad that there are more and more women in politics that young women like me can be looking up to, but obviously that's another discussion for another time. (But first, shout out to my biggest political inspiration, Amy Klobuchar!)

Tonight I'll also be watching Gilmore Girls, which, after my update on Sunday, I'm even more excited about! I loved reading your comments about the Buzzfeed quiz - so many Gilmore Girls lovers read my blog - woohoo! I'm glad that even though that show has been off the air for like seven years now (OMG) people are still massively nostalgic over it and commenting on my blog about it. It's so weird watching the first season, especially the first few episodes, because you forget so much about it - like that Kirk was originally named Mick and no one in town knew him. And for you sorry souls that have never glimpsed the genius and wit that is Gilmore Girls - do it. It'll be good for your health. I promise.


  1. That gets me EVERY time I re-watch Gilmore Girls! And then you re-watch the second season and suddenly Kirk is well known by everyone and has magically been around as long as everyone else in Star's Hollow. Craziness right there. Craziness.

  2. ok, I "love" poetry but really haven't explored it enough (I have several books but they're all anthologies and collections) your brief descriptions of each author's style makes me want to explore so bad!

    also- the shorts are awesome. what a gorg photo spot.

    ♥ perfectly Priya


Thank you for reading Of North! I write my blog very thoughtfully and with tremendous love, so all comments are read and taken to heart. Please note that I retain the right to remove any comments which I find to be rude, petty, or unnecessarily negative. Of North is a happy space and I appreciate it if comments reflect that same positivity!