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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Catnips: A Book of Haiku on Cats by Joseph Gustafson is a gorgeous offering that will delight cat lovers. The reader immediately notices the observant style and the author’s ability to capture interesting moments, postures, attitudes, and reflexes of our feline friends with a few captivating words. The poetry is filled with strong imagery, like the human waking on the couch to cat’s eyes, the black and white cat waiting in darkness, the unfurling of the tail of a strutting cat, and a lot more. The reader is introduced to Lulu and Puff and follow them in their mischief and adventure. There are brief moments captured in wonderment, at times fleeting but filled with life.
Joseph Gustafson expresses his love for cats in a way that is poetic and elegant and readers like me — who do not have a unique fondness for cats — get insights into the world of feline creatures. The haikus are composed of beautiful lines and the diction is very familiar. There are lines that I loved, lines with images that linger in my mind like: “That cat’s cry piercing / the night more devastating / than the howling wind” and “What riches I have / tonight with four moons: the sky, /the pond, the cat’s stare.” Catnips: A Book of Haiku on Cats is a compelling homage to cats and a collection of poetry that observes the world of cats and shares precious moments of their day. Simply captivating, except I’d have loved to see images placed throughout the book.