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Animal House

Cicely Fox Smith 1882 (Lymm, Cheshire) – 1954 (Bow, Devon)

In Animal House (by which title I call
A dwelling whose true name is not that at all)
There are dogs on the sofas and cats on the chairs;
Wherever you sit you get covered with hairs;
While your progress is marked by the yelps and miaous*
Of beasts you have walked on in Animal House.

There’s an Old English bantam that welcomes the dawn,
There’s a cat that sings love-songs all night on the lawn,
There’s a bachelor turtle-dove making sweet moan
And a puppy lamenting because it’s alone;
The rowdiest tavern where topers carouse
Is a meeting of Quakers to Animal House.

There’s a tortoise asleep in the strawberry bed
(They say it’s asleep but it smells a bit dead);
There are rabbits — they tell me they pluck them alive
And ferrets in hutches and bees in a hive,
And goats, male and female, that merrily browse
On the stockings they hang out at Animal House.

There’s a little green parrot like old Uncle Ned
Without any feathers on the top of its head,
He’s eighty years old and he’s just laid an egg;
There’s a toad and a newt and a thrush with one leg,
A hedgehog, an owl and a Japanese mouse,
But . . . people are nowhere at Animal House.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:05 min read
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Cicely Fox Smith

Cicely Fox Smith (1 February 1882 – 8 April 1954) was an English poet and writer. Born in Lymm, Cheshire and educated at Manchester High School for Girls, she briefly lived in Canada, before returning to the United Kingdom shortly before the outbreak of World War I. She settled in Hampshire and began writing poetry, often with a nautical theme. Smith wrote over 600 poems in her life, for a wide range of publications. In later life, she expanded her writing to a number of subjects, fiction and non-fiction. For her services to literature, the British Government awarded her a small pension. more…

All Cicely Fox Smith poems | Cicely Fox Smith Books

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