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I miss my cat — (and my mouse)

October 24, 2013

file under GOLD, for the gold leaf illustrations on the Book of Kells, in the Old Library at Trinity College, where I encountered the whimsy of a long ago writer and his admiration for a cat on the exhibit walls.

Pangur Bán

I and Pangur Bán my cat

‘Tis a like task we are at:

Hunting mice is his delight,

Hunting words I sit all night.

Better far than praise of men

‘Tis to sit with book and pen;

Pangur bears me no ill will

He too plies his simple skill.

Oftentimes a mouse will stray

In the hero Pangur’s way;

Oftentimes my keen thought set

Takes a meaning in its net.

‘Gainst the wall he sets his eye

Full and fierce and sharp and sly

‘Gainst the wall of knowledge I

All my little wisdom try.

Practice every day has made

Pangur perfect in his trade;

I get wisdom day and night

Turning darkness into light.

–Irish poet, writing in Switzerland in the 9th century

2 Comments leave one →
  1. critickat permalink
    October 24, 2013 4:44 pm

    A sweet and wise poem…and “Pangur Bán”: what a great name for a cat!

  2. November 1, 2013 1:25 pm

    I adore it! I have a friend who loves cats and agonizes over writing (besides me, I mean). I’m going to send this to her right away!

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