The name J.R.R. Tolkien is forever linked to the famous books The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. Tolkien was also a gifted poet. This is one of the many poems he wrote during his life.

About Tolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on 3 January 1892 in the South-African city of Bloemfontein. He would grow out to become a writer, philologist (someone who studies or teaches Philology), university professor and (of course) poet. His life was more than ‘just’ Middle-earth. He wrote many beautiful poems. The “trouble” with these poems: they were in many cases part of his books about this Middle-earth.

About Cat

“Cat” may seem to be just another poem. The subject is clear, but the wordplay is magnificent. It’s not possible to let go of the link with The Lord of the Rings, as this poem is supposed to be written by one of the main characters from this book: Samwise “Sam” Gamgee. This poem may seem like a simple poem, but it’s not.

Cat uses assonance. Words are related to each other because there is a meter inside every sentence. Take for instance the sentence The fat cat on the mat, where cat and mat are made of vowels that sound the same. The constants are similar, but not completely identical.

Yes, this poem about a cat is one that makes almost everyone a happy person. It shows us what a talented poet this Tolkien was. The poem itself appeared in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (1962). Later it was also published in The Poetical Cat: An Anthology (1995), a collection of poems about cats.

Even when you’re not really a ‘cat-person’, you cannot help to start smiling when you read a poem like this.



The fat cat on the mat
may seem to dream
of nice mice that suffice
for him, or cream;
but he free, maybe,
walks in thought
unbowed, proud, where loud
roared and fought
his kin, lean and slim,
or deep in den
in the East feasted on beasts
and tender men.The giant lion with iron
claw in paw,
and huge ruthless tooth
in gory jaw;
the pard, dark-starred,
fleet upon feet,
that oft soft from aloft
leaps on his meat
where woods loom in gloom–
far now they be,
fierce and free,
and tamed is he;
but fat cat on the mat
kept as a pet,
he does not forget.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Article Name
A beautiful poem by Tolkien
Publisher Name
The Ministry of Poetic Affairs

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