Comparing Poetry Essay

Submitted By Isabella-Kimberley
Words: 838
Pages: 4

The poems Esther’s Tomcat by Ted Hughes and Cats by Steve Evans share many similarities and contrasts. The main shared quality is that of the subject of the poems, they are both about cats. However, the cats in the two poems have many contrasting qualities. Both of the poems are written in first person narrative, which makes the reader experience the story as if it were being told directly to them, which involves them emotionally.

The theme of the poem Esther’s Tomcat is of a murderous old cat that is described as devilish and un-killable. The title of the poem informs us that the cat has an owner who it stays with during the day. In the third stanza, it tells of the tomcat killing a man upon his horse by latching around his neck whilst biting and scratching. The knight falls from his horse, hitting his head upon a large rock, which years late, remains the stain of blood from the cats doing. The forth stanza describes the cats thirst for murder as it disembowels dogs and beheads chooks. Whilst the cat has suffered from the wounds of its battles with dogs and being shot at from man trying to rid the world of this evil character, it has only left scars as though the tomcat is invincible which gives the idea of the cat having nine lives. Although he has an owner, the cat walks the roofs at night yelling of his hatred of others. The poem’s use of rhyming is seen in the first line of the first stanza, “Daylong, this tomcat lies stretched flat, As an old rough mat,” the rhyme being the words ‘flat’ and ‘mat’. The line, “As an old rough mat,” is also a simile, which tells of the cat being like an old rough mat. Other sillies in the poem are “Like a bundle of old rope and iron,” “His eyes, green as ringstones,” and “Fangs fine as a lady’s needle and bright.” These similes are describing the cat using imagery and by comparing certain features to another object. The simile in the third stanza “Locked round his neck like a trap of hooks” compares the cat’s arms around the knight’s neck to be like an unbreakable lock. The lines, ‘wars and wives,’ ‘tattered and battered,’ and ‘leaps and lightly,’ are all alliteration. The mood of the poem starts of quite muted as it describes the appearance of the cat, but soon turns quite dark with the death of the knight. The poem makes the reader have a feeling of revulsion towards the tomcat. There example of enjambment in this poem in the third and fourth stanzas; they flow on as if they were in the same stanza.

The poem Cats tells of a lively group of cats. The cats are described as lazy little gods, who believe the world solely revolves around themselves. The cats hold no meaningful perpose, besides prancing around the garden of an Australian man’s home. The cats spend their day running along the roof of the verandah, lying in the sun as if it were their kingdom. At night the mischievous group of cats make horrible noises by the bedroom window of the man’s house. However, in the morning, the cats, act as if it was