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Mrs. Reynold's Cat question

PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 2:50 pm
by dennis
At the end of the poem, what does Keats mean by "glass-bottled wall"?

Thanks in advance for everybody's interpretation.

Re: Mrs. Reynold's Cat question

PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 4:47 pm
by dks
dennis wrote:At the end of the poem, what does Keats mean by "glass-bottled wall"?

Thanks in advance for everybody's interpretation.


Great question, Dennis! This sonnet is one of my favorites--The last line, I believe, is referring to the cat (in his youth, as a kitten) crawling everywhere and looking like a "list" or a band or stripe of color scaling a "glass-bottled wall"--maybe a wine rack or wine cellar wall...I think it's Keats's way of adding that signature bit o' detail he always does to help catapult his tone, meaning and theme... :wink:

Just an educated guess... :?:

PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 6:00 pm
by Malia
I actually know what the "glass bottled wall" reference is about. Back in Keats's day, women used to crush up glass bottles/containers and place the shards on top of their garden walls to keep the cats out of the yard. I love it when day-to-day life is captured in literature in this way.

When Keats talks about the cat entering the "lists"--I think it might mean the "lists" of the initiated--i.e. when the cat matured from kitten-hood and started to prowl, maneuvering over the glass-bottled walls.

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 7:36 am
by dennis
Ok, thanks alot. I'm really new to poetry and somebody suggested to give Keats a try. I really liked the cat poem because it was "easy" to know what he's talking about....all the way up to that last line (lol). Anyway, now I won't lose anymore sleep over this :)

thanks again

PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 4:47 am
by dks
Dennis,

I do hope you continue to read Keats's other works--he is THE Romantic genius and I am certain you will become mesmerized by his extraordinary poetry as we all are. :wink:

PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 5:43 am
by Credo Buffa
Very interesting tidbit, Malia!

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:02 pm
by AhDistinctly
I was just listening to this poem today, so naturally I needed to see what you all had to say about it!

In my 1899 Complete Poetical Works and Letters of John Keats (Horace Scudder, ed) the poem is simply called "To a Cat." However, every other reference I see lists it as "Mrs. Reynolds' Cat."

I wonder -- is there an authority file of the accepted names for poems, or is it up to the editor to come up with something for an untitled work?

:?: :?: :?:

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:09 pm
by Saturn
AhDistinctly wrote:
I wonder -- is there an authority file of the accepted names for poems, or is it up to the editor to come up with something for an untitled work?

:?: :?: :?:


Ones that were published and overseen by Keats have his own titles.

This poem like many others were unpublished I think and was given a title by its earliest editor I suppose.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:23 pm
by AhDistinctly
A final tidbit from my above-referenced book:

Horace E. Scudder wrote:These verses were addressed by Keats to a cat belonging to Mrs. Reynolds of Little Britain, the mother of his friend John Hamilton Reynolds. Mrs. Reynolds gave the verses to her son-in-law, Tom Hood, who published them in his Comic Annual for 1830.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:33 pm
by Saturn
:oops:

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:41 pm
by AhDistinctly
Saturn wrote::oops:


Actually, I thought that the Scudder quote backed up your statement!

Either way, I think there is a moral to this: Poets! Title your works -- or someone else will do it for you.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:55 pm
by Saturn
AhDistinctly wrote:
Either way, I think there is a moral to this: Poets! Title your works -- or someone else will do it for you.


Yes good point :lol: