Date: Thu, 13 Jun 1996 17:02:18 EDT From: Terry Lynn Irons Subject: Re: firecat > > John Serio, editor of The Wallace Stevens Journal, has asked for help in > identifying the "firecat" in the following poem by Stevens. Does anyone > know the term? He says that in a letter Stevens said that he had "actual > animals" in mind. > > Earthy Anecdote > > Every time the bucks went clattering > Over Oklahoma > A firecat bristled in the way. > > Wherever they went, > They went clattering, > Until they swerved > In a swift, circular line > To the right, > Because of the firecat. > > Or until they swerved > In a swift, circular line > To the left, > Because of the firecat. > > The bucks clattered. > The firecat went leaping > To the right, to the left, > And > Bristled in the way. > > Later, the firecat closed his bright eyes > And slept. > An album by Cat Stevens (really his best work) is titled "Teaser and the Firecat." The album cover has a picture of a boy and an orangish-red cat. I don't recall any use of the term "firecat" in any of the songs, but I don't have a copy now to listen to. But this is a later use of the word. "Firecat" is also the name of a hunting bow and I think a kind of fighter plane. Stevens may have simply meant a reddish colored cat. Cats do "bristle." Terry Irons -- (*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*) Terry Lynn Irons t.irons[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Voice Mail: (606) 783-5164 Snail Mail: UPO 604 Morehead, KY 40351 (*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)