Friday, November 14, 2014

Jaeger Kitty

Katt Pa Fageljakt (1883), Brono Liljefors
Gothenburg, the lovely Swedish port city, has a great art museum. The Kontsmuseum, housed in an austere looking building at the very end of the city's vibrant main Boulevard, Avenyn, holds a delightful collection of Northern European art; there's modern and classic, and all in between. I spent a memorable afternoon last fall getting a taste of their collection.

Not surprisingly, many Swedish painters are represented. One painting caught my eye. Bruno Liljefors (1860–1939) was an influential wildlife painter of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. His work focused on animal hunters and their prey, and has been described as being very unsentimental in tone. I agree. The painting I viewed was of a domestic cat (can a tuxedo cat- black and white ever be wild?!) after a bird kill, tromping through a late fall landscape with his spoils. Familiar with this look of satsifaction from my own cat (who occasionally does get a backyard offering, to my angst), something moved me about it and I thought a lot about this painting afterward. I bought the card reproduction of it and recently it surfaced in my studio. I put a light little poem together. Let' s just say I dedicate it to those birds out there not so lucky to cross the path of a jaeger kitty. Note- Jaeger is German for hunter. I liked how it sounded with Kitty.

Jaeger Kitty

Jaeger Kitty in the wood,
Stepping soft
Then fixed, she stood.

Heard a rustle
through the leaves,
something tiny
scents the breeze.

Eyes wide open,
whiskers quivered;
One mighty leap
and pounce delivered.

Jaeger Kitty,
With muffled mew,
brought her spoils
home to you.

“Would you share a mouse with me?”
“Thanks”, you said, “I’ve had my tea”.

Jaeger Kitty,
Now she sleeps,
She cleaned her fur then
slumbered deep.

Contented by her hunting day,
dreams of one that got away.

No comments:

Blog Archive