Cat Poems - Dr Seuss Style
Dr Seuss Style
What Is Dr Seuss Style you may ask? Well, Dr Seuss’s writings have a distinctive style. Rhythm, rhyme, made-up words, tongue-twisters, and general nonsense are all incorporated, and of course, his wonderful artwork and fantastic characters added to the appeal of his poetry. Most of us are familiar with the iconic "Cat in the Hat," "Green Eggs and Ham" etc.
- When writing verse, Dr. Seuss often used an AABB or an ABCB rhyme scheme. A rhyme scheme is a pattern of rhyming words. AA means the first two lines rhyme with each other, and BB that the third and fourth lines rhyme with each other. For example:
AABB Rhyme Scheme:
"Which beast is best?...Well, I thought at first
that the East was best and the West was worst.
Then I looked again from the west to the east
and I liked the beast on the east beach least."
"Did I ever tell you that Mrs. McCave
Had twenty-three sons and she named them all Dave?
Well, she did. And that wasn't a smart thing to do.
You see, when she wants one and calls out, 'Yoo-Hoo!"
- Sometimes, Dr Seuss used an ABCB rhyme scheme, where the second and fourth lines rhyme:
ABCB Rhyme Scheme:
"You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself,
Any direction you choose."
"Your Majesty. Please…
I don't like to complain.
But down here below,
we are feeling great pain."
And today the Great Yertle, that marvellous he
Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see.— Dr Seuss
A lot of comic verse and most Dr Seuss poetry uses an anapestic tetrameter which is a poetic meter that has four anapestic metrical feet per line. Each foot has two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable. It is sometimes referred to as a "reverse dactyl"
An anapestic foot is two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable.
A line of anapestic tetrameter is four of these in a row:
The following lines from Dr. Seuss' Yertle the Turtle are examples, showing a complete line of anapestic tetrameter followed by a line with the first beat omitted. This common technique is called an iambic substitution.
"And today the Great Yertle, that marvelous he
Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see."
My Reason for Writing Cat Poems
Apart from writing here at HubPages I offer my freelance writing services on Fiverr.com. I was approached by a client who required verse for 100 children's picture books (each approx. 345 words) over a two or three month period. He also requested that they be written in a style similar to Dr Seuss.
I was sceptical in my ability to write that many in the time frame but agreed to write one book as a trial. The client is an illustrator so said he would provide the illustrations and I was to try to write a poem/story to accompany the illustrations.
The client provided the illustrations but they came as a collection of drawings similar to clip art, in no real order except being separated into the categories of "Autumn Cats," "St Valentine's Cats," and "Spring Cats." There appeared to be no storyline progression and the illustrations, to me, seemed best suited to wrapping paper designs rather than story books.
I used the popular Dr Seuss rhyme scheme AABB for the poems I wrote and used anapestic tetrameter in a few places but wasn't strict on its use.
I was pleased with what I came up with, however, the client wasn't happy. He said the rhyme felt clunky and it didn't follow any storyline. "Fair enough," I thought, "but neither did your illustrations."
I do offer a revision with all my work but he didn't give me an option. Instead opened a dispute with Fiverr and asked to cancel the gig because he felt the work not up to standard. My major gripe with Fiverr is that they tend to protect the buyer at the seller's expense.
A writer can invest time and effort into a project and deliver on time only for the client to say it isn't what they were looking for, and cancel, meaning the seller doesn't get paid. There is also nothing to stop the customer still using the delivered work even though they refused to pay for it.
To be fair, I must say this is only the second or third time this has happened to me in three years and around 300 gigs, so it isn't a regular occurrence. Most buyers are very honest and appreciative. Anyway, if a writing gig falls through I hate to think I have wasted time and effort so I try to find somewhere else I can use what I wrote. Where better than as part of a hub or article here at HubPages.
Oh, and did I mention, I am owned by six cats?
I hope you at least get a smile out of these "cat poems." (these verses were written to accompany illustrations provided, but which I can't show here for copyright reasons.)
Autumn is here, and autumn is fun
Especially for cats, who play, climb and run.
Cats love watching leaves fall from the trees,
Rolling and hiding and playing catch-mes.
When mushrooms grow in the moist shady ground
Surer than not there will be cats around.
Cats come in all colours, sizes and shapes
Like leaves on the trees, in autumn landscapes.
Some cats are stylish, some cats are plain,
Some cats fly, some take the train.
There are cats all over, this country and that,
Some wear nice scarves, others, smart hats.
Some cats float on a pond full of lilies,
Chasing green frogs and just being silly.
Saint Valentine's Cats
Valentine’s cats show love, that’s a fact,
They love showing love, and get that love back.
They like getting flowers, smelling them too,
Sometimes they sniff out a bee, maybe two.
Roses are red, violets are blue,
But, Saint Valentine’s cats can be any old hue.
They like meeting up beneath the full moon,
Two kitties in love just makes you swoon.
When cats get together there’s love in the air,
Tails are a-wagging and hearts everywhere.
One cat at the window trying to croon,
Its love shut inside, stuck in the room.
All cats need is love, moon, stars, and flowers,
What they don’t like is sudden rain showers.
When spring has arrived it’s funny to see,
Cats seem to fly right over the trees.
Spring cats just float without any cares,
Gliding by on small puffs of air.
Flowers are all blooming, birds and insects arise,
Spring cats love the sunny blue skies.
Cats sometimes chase birds, mice, and small things,
This happens all seasons, but mostly in spring.
While pretty flowers attract birds and bees,
Spring cats are sleeping up in the trees.
Some cats have stripes, patches or spots,
Some even wear pants, but most cats do not.
While new plants are growing out of the ground,
Cats just sneak by without any sound.
Flower seeds and pollen are carried by air,
By butterflies, bees, and in the cat’s hair.
So you see, it is something not many know,
Cats are essential for some flowers to grow.
Questions & Answers
© 2019 John Hansen