Cat Poems - Dr Seuss Style

Updated on March 19, 2019
Jodah profile image

John has many years of writing experience in poetry, short fiction and text for children's books.

Source

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

Anapestic Tetrameter:

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"

Example:

An anapestic foot is two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable.

dadaDUM

A line of anapestic tetrameter is four of these in a row:

dadaDUMdadaDUMdadaDUMdadaDUM

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."

(source: Wikipedia)

Two of my cats Nike and Chairman Meow
Two of my cats Nike and Chairman Meow | Source

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 Cats
Autumn Cats | Source

Autumn Cats

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
Saint Valentine's Cats | Source

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.

Spring Cats
Spring Cats | Source

Spring Cats

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

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      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        No one appeals to everyone, Lawrence. Dr Seuss is no exception. Glad you enjoyed my poems though. I think you may be right regarding the illustrator who wanted to hire me and then backed out. Blessings back.

      • lawrence01 profile image

        Lawrence Hebb 

        4 weeks ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

        John

        We only have two cats, but you know the saying "Dogs have owners, Cats have slaves!"

        Actually, our two are great company in many ways (Okay, one is as the other is skitterish especially around the Dog) but it's the older cat that rules the house!

        Enjoyed the poems, though being totally honest I've always struggled with Dr Seuss.

        To me, it sounded like the illustrator wanted you to do all the work for very little of the reward, I'm glad you had another avenue where you could use the work.

        Blessings

        Lawrence

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        I am glad you could relate to Dr Seuss through my poems Dianna. That is what ai was aiming for. Thanks for he suggestion of the basic upfront fee. They do have to pay the service company upfront, however, they refund it if the buyer says they aren’t happy and cancel before the seller receives it. The system needs changing.

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        6 weeks ago

        I can relate to Dr. Seuss through your poems. Very clever! Seems as if those buyers may be taking advantage of sellers. Good way to get great ideas for free. Maybe you should charge a basic fee up front for creative design presentation.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Mark. cats never fail to bring a smile to your face. I guess it is why cat memes are so popular. Thanks for reading and for the encouraging comment. Cheers.

      • Mark Tulin profile image

        Mark Tulin 

        8 weeks ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Enjoyed all your cat poems. Cats and Spring go together like milk and cookies. It’s so humorous to see a cat rolling in Spring grass and chasing butterflies and bugs. Love this topic and how you handled it, John.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Genna, thank you very much. I did enjoy writing these poems despite the circumstances that prevailed. Who doesn't like our feline friends? Say hi to Miss Callie from Nike.

      • Genna East profile image

        Genna East 

        2 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

        I am loving your poetry written in the Dr. Seuss style and anapestic tetrameter. (My cat, Miss Callie, who owns me, looks a little like your calico, Nike.) I think you have captured the seasons of personalities of our feline friends, their quirks and behaviors, beautifully!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Bill, it's great to see you, my friend. I increased my prices this year on Fiverr to $5US per 50 words. My orders have decreased but hopefully, it is just a matter of time before it picks up again. Yes, it is now easy to place increased amounts on gigs there.

        From what I see you are doing very well without having to do freelance work with your own books seeming to be very popular. nice to hear you are also a cat lover and enjoyed the poems. Thanks for your support, encouragement and kind words.

      • Billrrrr profile image

        Bill Russo 

        2 months ago from Cape Cod

        I loved the cat poems because they were very good and also because in my time I too have been owned by a cluster of cats. I tend to agree with you about Fiverr. I did it for perhaps a year, offering to write instant biographies for people for the minimum amount, $5.00. I did well in terms of getting clients, but found I was spending several hours trying to make the very best work I could for what would end up being perhaps 75 cents an hour if I counted all my time. At the time most of the Gigs were the 5 dollar ones. Now I believe it's fairly easy to bump up the price, but I don't have the desire to get back into it. I'm thrilled to hear that you've had a good number of Gigs....but don't sell it short. Get your price. Continued success John, I happily count myself among the many people in this world whom you have inspired.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Alicia. It seems cat memes are among the most popular on the Internet so I thought cat poems might be too. I appreciate you reading and commenting.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

        Thanks for sharing the charming and amusing poems, John. I'm always happy to read poems about cats!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Theodore Seuss Geisel actually studied linguistics and wrote and directed two Academy Award winning films during WWII. He sold more than 600 million copies of his books up to the time of his death and they were translated into 20 languages. HIs poetry had a lot more complexity than most people think. Glad you you enjoyed the cat poems.

      • swalia profile image

        Shaloo Walia 

        2 months ago from India

        I have read some of Dr. Seuss's works but never took notice of his distinctive writing style. Cat verses are awesome. I enjoyed reading them.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Md Adnan, I am so glad you enjoyed these poems and the very mention of my work in the same breath as that of Dr Seuss is a huge compliment.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you Chris, I appreciate that comment. Anapestic tetrameter is not something I have consciously tried to use, but having said that I have probably utilised this meter without knowing. I just reread your poem 'The Hiker" and can see your use of it throughout.

      • profile image

        Velcro 

        2 months ago

        Well John , I have gone crazy after reading this poem like a cat goes after smelling catnip..!! What a delight it is to read your poems. I really enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed reading Dr. Seuss' works...and thank you for the information about the style of writing !!!

      • cam8510 profile image

        Chris Mills 

        2 months ago from Lowell, MA through the end of May, 2019.

        John, this is a delightful collection of cat poems. I am not happy with what occurred on Fiverr, but I am glad you brought these poems our way. Anapestic tetrameter is what I was attempting in our poem collaboration.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Venkat. I am glad you enjoyed learning a little about Dr Seuss’ style of poetry. Thank you for the kind comment also.

      • Venkatachari M profile image

        Venkatachari M 

        2 months ago from Hyderabad, India

        Very beautiful poems here, John. I knew about Dr. Seuss poems. But not with that wonderful knowledge of his style that you provided here so elaborately. I thank you for that information.

        I loved both those Spring and Autumn Cats. A true picturization of it all so realistically.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you for your generous words, Sean. I always appreciate your friendship. Yes, my cats make sure I am fed and watered lol.

      • Sean Dragon profile image

        Ioannis Arvanitis 

        2 months ago from Greece, Almyros

        My dear brother I agree with Bill (greetings and much Love brother), cats or no cats, you are something I admire, though I could never be. You are a highly talented poet who can turn anything to an amusing and meaningful poem! I think that "Mr Illustrator" have kicked a great opportunity with you, but believe me, you didn't lose, because you created something beautiful! Lucky us! Thank you for sharing!

        Admiration!

        Sean

        PS: Six cats! I hope they treat you right! Lol!

      • PoetikalyAnointed profile image

        PoetikalyAnointed 

        2 months ago from US

        Hi John,

        Yes, my kitty was very purrty and sweet. She'd always brighten my with smiles and massages "kneeding" me. She was a character lol.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you PoetikalyAnointed. Unfortunately, you can't read your clients minds and not everyone has the same tastes. Your old kitty must have been a beautiful cat. Thanks for reading another of my hubs.

      • PoetikalyAnointed profile image

        PoetikalyAnointed 

        2 months ago from US

        Hi John,

        I'm sorry that your client wasn't satisfied with your wonderful work. It's a shame that he didn't see the brilliance here.

        The cat in the featured image looks just like my old kitty-beautiful artwork.

        I hope your next client will give you more time with their project and communicate better.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        MsDora, I would heed your comment/ctritique any day over that of this particular client. Thank you as always.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi zdiana, thank you for reading and enjoying these poems.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Karen ,thank you for the lovely comment and helpful advice. I love rag doll cats but have never been fortunate to have one. So glad you enjoyed this.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        I think that I do well in recognizing good literature, and your poems, including these cat verses are excellent. Thanks for sharing the experience with that client. There's always an odd one--a good topic for an article.

      • Diana Lee profile image

        Diana L Pierce 

        2 months ago from Potter County, Pa.

        I very much enjoy your poetry. Perhaps your client really did not know what they were asking.

      • Seafarer Mama profile image

        Karen A Szklany 

        2 months ago from New England

        Loved this hub immensely! My family and I are owned by one male ragdoll cat named Skye and I found all of your verses delightful and your pictures beautiful! I hope you find a buyer who appreciates them. Perhaps submit them to a children's lit publisher? Best wishes.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you Paula. I am glad you enjoyed the poems and pictures. Still working on that single Aussie for you. Give me time..things move slow down under.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Good to see you back Ruby. I just love rhyme too, as you can tell. I like chocolate too haha. Thank you so much.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Linda, thanks for your kind support. I guess you can’t please everybody all of the time. Now you have to tell me how a small black cat got the name pumpkin.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Rinita, it is readers and commenters like you who take away the frustration of situations like this and make me pleased I shared the poems here instead. Thank you for the compliment about being one of the most natural rhymers here on HP too. I’m also glad you learned something new.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        I appreciate that kind comment Shauna. He was targeting 5 to 9 year olds. I haven’t done a Google search yet but I may in a week or two just in case.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Kim, thanks for taking the time to read and appreciate this. I know you have had some issues to deal with. Blessings.

      • fpherj48 profile image

        Paula 

        2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        Jodah....I'm very fond of cats....(I think I told you, I have 3) and I love your poems as always. The pictures are precious. The two snuggled up, face to face, taking a nap, make me wonder how anyone could not see how sweet and lovable cats are!!

        My favorite is the "St. Valentine's Cats!" Very nice, Jodah!

        (Still waiting for my Australian to arrive in the mail!!) LOL

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Yes, Flourish, it peeved me at first but I got over it quick. You can’t win them all that is true.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks Kaili. I have learned to take a deeep breath and count to ten too...things can always be worse.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks Bill, that always means a lot coming from you.

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 

        2 months ago from Southern Illinois

        This was so much fun to read. As you well know I love your rhyming ability. To me they all were perfectly done! I would rather rhyme than eat chocolate, and I love chocolate. Dr. Seuss was great for his time, now it's your time!

      • Carb Diva profile image

        Linda Lum 

        2 months ago from Washington State, USA

        John, you had me with "cat". At the present time, I am owned by one male cat, a tiny little black (formerly feral) named Pumpkin (don't ask why that name, it's a long story but makes sense).

        I love your poems and the person who rejected your poems clearly did not have his wits about him. I sincerely hope that your work is not used or re-used without giving you payment. You have a unique gift and I'm so glad you shared these with your friends on Hubs.

      • Senoritaa profile image

        Rinita Sen 

        2 months ago

        I am sorry the gig did not work out, but hey, on the other hand, I am glad, for otherwise your HP friends would have been deprived of this amazing collection.

        You are one of the most natural rhymers on HP, and if anyone says your rhyming is clunky, they either don't have any idea what rhyming is, or are among those clients who take the writer for granted. I hope you don't think on it.

        I enjoyed the introduction, too. Learned some new things today.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        2 months ago from Central Florida

        John, as one who is also owned by cats

        and a lover of your poetry,

        To you I take off my hat

        And do so emotionally.

        Your client clearly missed out on incorporating your cat poems in his book. However, what age group was he targeting? Some of the words you use may not be in beginning readers' vocabulary. But in no way are your rhymes "clunky".

        Have you tried checking to see if your poems appear elsewhere? Try typing a few lines in the Google search bar and see what pops up.

      • ocfireflies profile image

        ocfireflies 

        2 months ago from North Carolina

        Dear John,

        Thanks for sharing your experience. And, in addition to that, thank you for honoring Dr. Seuss and all types of cats.

        Hoping you and yours are well.

        Kim

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 months ago from USA

        I loved Dr. Seuss. Thanks for the reminder of him. Sorry it didn’t work out with your gig. Don’t let it bother you too much. Can’t win them all.

      • Kaili Bisson profile image

        Kaili Bisson 

        2 months ago from Canada

        These are wonderful John. And I love your comeback (at least with your inside voice) to that illustrator!

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        2 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Cats or no cats, you are a talented writer Sir!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Haha Clive, thank you, thank you.

      • clivewilliams profile image

        Clive Williams 

        2 months ago from Jamaica

        Great cat writings and poem. Meow!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks for adding a little perspective to the situation, Val. You are certainly right that people's tastes can differ dramatically. We all have to learn to swallow our pride at times. Instead of sulking I decided to always try to use the rejected work somewhere else like here as HubPages, and treat it as a positive. Cheers.

      • ValKaras profile image

        Vladimir Karas 

        2 months ago from Canada

        John -- I can imagine the way you felt after that silly rejection of something that you could really be proud of. But at the same time I am (painfully) aware how incredibly different people's tastes can be. Somewhat relating to it, I can easily remember quite a few of my hubs/poems that I absolutely loved, convinced that I had "outdone myself" -- only to later on realize how they couldn't get more than few miserable views.

        Well, that was another time for me to practice my laughing-at-myself-routine, as I sometimes do, not to mock myself, but to show that I am not taking my ego seriously by laughing at the situation.

        Keep doing what you do, my friend, you are great at that.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Pamela. Yes, I grew up on Dr Seuss and reading it to my own children. I agree that I am better off not writing for an unappreciative client. I appreciate your kind words. You have a great day.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        2 months ago from Sunny Florida

        I couldn't accurately the number of times I read Dr. Seuss books to my boys, so it was nice to read your cat poetry. I really enjoyed everything.

        I don't think I would like writing for a the unappreciative person you described. I have written quite a bit for Textbroer, but I got tired of that and just enjoy writing on Hubpages for now. Have a great day John.

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