Thursday, April 18, 2019

ARTSPEAK: Happy! poem "What a Cat Needs" by Irene Latham

Welcome to ARTSPEAK: Happy! my 2019 National Poetry Month poem a day project, in which I am responding to pieces of art that make me happy. Read why in my introductory post.

Poems so far:
Girl in a Yellow Dress after "A Girl in a Yellow Dress, 1917" by Amedeo Modigliani
When the Stars Come to Town after "Cafe Terrace at Night" by Vincent van Gogh
On a Golden Day in May after "Checkered House" by Grandma Moses
Beach Time after "Children Playing on the Beach" by Mary Cassatt
The Weight of Happiness after "Flower Seller" by Diego Rivera
By the Sea "Coastal Scene with Gulls" by Maud Lewis
Sister Song after an untitled piece by Henry Darger
Two Cows after "2 Cows" by Maud Lewis
Girl in Hat after "Girl in Hat" by Norman Lewis
Backstage after "Dancers in Green and Yellow" by Edgar Degas. 
"So Many Suns" after Kohbar of Mithila
"To an Olive Tree" after Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun by Vincent van Gogh
"Three Black Cats" after Three Black Cats by Maud Lewis
"When Grandma Reads" after Mrs. Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren by Mary Cassatt
"On a June Afternoon" after Pigeon on a Peach Branch by Emperor Huizong
"On the Water" after On the Water by Mary Cassatt
"Autumn Prayer" after Red Vineyard at Arles by Vincent van Gogh

Today's piece is "Julie Manet with Cat" by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. I love cats -- especially our cat Maggie -- so this was rather a fun poem to write.

What a Cat Needs
- after "Julie Manet with Cat" by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

a nice warm lap –
doesn't matter if it's bumpy
or flat –

a dish of cream,
a morning sunbeam.

Add a singing cricket
or a high-flying bird

and you'll soon learn
another word for “happy”

is purrrrrrrrr.

- Irene Latham

Be sure to visit Linda at A Word Edgewise for the latest line in our Progressive Poem!


  1. So happy with this one and the painting!
    "'ll soon learn another word for “happy” is purrrrrrrrr."
    I needed this cat poem since this poetry month is filled with a surfeit of dog poems by my blogging friends.

  2. I adore this poem, Irene! The last line is purrrfect!

  3. Simply cat is purring next to me with tremendous approval. We especially like a morning sunbeam. Both of us look for one to soak up with closed eyes.

  4. Love that 'bumpy or flat', they will nestle however it works, you're right. And I love the painting, her face, but especially the cat's expression.

  5. My cat leaps and chirps at bugs, so funny to watch. I love this happy cat filled poem.

  6. Adorable! Especially love "a dish of cream/a morning sunbeam." :)

  7. So so so true. Our Fiona is always found in the only sunbeam anywhere! Cats! xxxx

  8. I need this poem today after a hard week of work. Thank you Irene!

  9. Loved the ending...."another word fo happy is purr."


Your thoughts?