T.S.Eliot: “will do as he do do…”


It was inevitable that I would be introduced to Eliot as soon as I could appreciate the language and mystery of poetry.

My mother, putting drama and elocution lessons to good use, would recite from ‘Cats’ if something brought to mind the rhythm and rhyme and language of the verses.

And I fell in love.  Who wouldn’t, as child, love the sounds and feelings of reeling off the wonderful, fabudosous sounds of McCavity,  Rum Rum Tugger, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer?

Am I a natural then to attend  Lloyd- Webber’s “Cats”?

Unfortunately, not as I’m not that fond of musicals, and not that fond of Webber’s sound.

However the ‘rapping’ version intrigues me.  On re-introducing myself to Eliot recently (isn’t it lovely what you can do when you are retired?) I was excited by the hip hop rhythm of some of Eliot’s works.

I will probably not do justice by this analysis, but I refer to the confining structure of the poetry that guides the sounds and ideas and thought process of the meaning.  I want to say – use the structure of the verse to clear the mind of clutter so that you can ‘hear’ what Eliot is saying.  And it is that element of poetry that draws me to some ‘rap’; especially the greats like Tupac , M and M, and Biggie and JayZ.

And evidently I am not alone.   “I came to the conclusion, having read Eliot again, that maybe he was the inventor of rap,” says Lloyd-Webber. “His metre for the Rum Tum Tugger is so wonderful… it raps.”

Curious: as a cat?

How did you do?

In contrast, the flip side of Eliot.  A few years after first being introduced to Eliot, it was again inevitable that he would come into Literature lessons at school.  As such into my life came “The Journey of the Magi”

The very first line had me hooked.  A cold coming we had of it.

I remember enjoying the story of it then, as a teenager, and picking out the imagery of ‘the three trees’, ‘dicing with silver’ and ‘old wine skins’.

It had to be a favourite as it related to my favourite part of the Nativity, the magi.

Now, in the wisdom of my greying years I read and am brought to tears by the deeper emotions Eliot manages to stir in the language and movement of the poem.


In the words of M.J. Fox and PBS  that maybe “one to grow on”.

And now is it also inevitable that I leave you with ‘one of my own’?

Matilda: Tilly for short.

Her strength is in her solitude


Her strength is in her solitude

Her loyalty in sleep.

Her justice in the knowing look

Only yours to keep.

This  cat of two dimensions

Might allow a playful paw

To bat away  a bubble or two

Before it becomes a bore.

A stretch, a yawn and then return

To rituals  of the day

Groom, eat then sleep

A walk outside

then groom, sleep, eat

Repeat until replete.

Her strength is in her solitude

Her devotion not outdone

It’s all the same

She’ll  prove her worth

Matilda is her name.


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