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Cats by Ellie Oakley

Young children love making lists in their poems and it's a useful way of encouraging their writing. In this poem by Ellie Oakley the order of her 13 different ways of looking at cats is nicely chosen. The poem builds into a small drama moving through a number of different moods and finishing with an unusual but precisely right observation.

Ellie Oakley, aged 7, receives Fatso in a Red Suit by Matthew Sweeney (Faber). Submitted by Catherine Jennings of Chiswick and Bedford preparatory school, London W4, who receives a set of Poetry Society posters with teachers' notes. For Poetry Society events, ring 0171 240 2133. Jo Shapcott is the Poetry Society's poet on the


Playful cat playing with a ball of wool.

Fat cat squeezing through some railing bar.

Lazy cat sleeping all the time.

Beautiful cat, in the mirror she looks.

Dirty cat making muddy pawprints on the clean sheets.

Angry cat, spitting and hissing at me.

Scared cat hiding in the washing.

Clumsy cat knocking over his bowl of water.

Hungry cat purring and rubbing me.

Wise cat choosing to walk not in mud.

Cheeky cat slipping in the house and stealing my food.

Mummy cat cleaning her kittens.

Lonely cat sitting by herself.


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