On A Night Of Snow By Elizabeth Coatsworth And Morning By Mary Oliver

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Crazy Cat Ladies In the poems “On a Night of Snow” by Elizabeth Coatsworth and “Morning” by Mary Oliver, both poets create narratives about women and their beloved cats. Through sensory imagery, divergent word choice, and poem structure, the poets elicit a similar tone of love to show their care and appreciation for simple creatures. The structure of each poem serves to reflect either the interaction between a cat and its owner, or an owner’s love for her cat and its simple, yet mesmerizing, actions. On one hand, Coatsworth’s poem is a Petrarchan sonnet consisting of two stanzas. In the octave, Coatsworth explains why her pet should remain indoors on a snowy night, while in the sestet, her cat replies with its reasons for going out even…show more content…
In addition, the poet’s use of imperative sentences to command the cat to “Stay by the fire” (4) and to “stay with [her]” (8) further demonstrates her view of the cat as a vulnerable creature that needs to be taken care of and kept safe. The cat’s exclamatory command, “Open the door!” (14), however, shows its desire to be freed. On the other hand, Oliver’s poem is only one stanza consisting of twelve total lines. In the first two lines of the stanza, the poet begins by vividly describing attributes of the room. She then recounts in great detail all of the movements her cat makes in the following six lines, and finishes the poem by explaining her favorable reactions to all of the cat’s activities in the last four lines. The poem’s organization allows Oliver to portray her developing appreciation for rather simple things. Furthermore, while the poem has fairly short sentences overall, Oliver’s use of longer sentences when describing her cat “mak[ing] [a]…show more content…
In Coatsworth’s poem, a mistress begins by warning her cat that when it returns from the outdoors, it will have “little white shoes of snow that have heels of sleet” (3), giving readers an opportunity to visualize the unsafe, snowy, conditions outside. Coatsworth’s use of personification gives a vivid illustration of the fireplace, depicting the “flames [that] are leaping and hissing low” (5), and making readers feel almost as if the fire is alive. She also describes “wild winds blow[ing]” (8) to convey a feeling of danger to readers, justifying why the mistress is reluctant to let her precious cat explore the outdoors. Furthermore, from the cat’s point of view, Coatsworth mentions “strange voices cry[ing] in the trees” (10), allowing readers to hear certain noises in this specific setting, and imagine themselves exactly where this cat yearns to be. In contrast, Oliver begins by describing the simplest things about the room she is in, such as “milk in a blue bowl” (2), and “the yellow linoleum” (2) of the kitchen floor. The poet’s use of specific colors to describe certain objects lets readers envision the room that the speaker is in, and picture themselves in it. Oliver also depicts the “cat stretching her black body from the pillow” (3), once again

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