“Cats and Dogs In Paris” – Sir Bradley Wright
Humans are jealous creatures.
And by starting off with that, I can continue onwards in declaring that I am a very jealous person, without shame and more importantly – ridding myself of some sort of guilt/blame thing I have going on…
But back to the jealousy thing.
I am jealous of everyone else in my English class. Green-eyed and everything. (Oh? You thought this would be about something completely pointless? Like boys? Psssh..)
I firmly believe that on the first day of class, everyone gathered around our teacher who then sprinkled some magic understand-everything-in-english dust on all their heads. And as for little o’l me? Well, like always, I was asleep and probably drooling all over my desk. I bet the lot of them just snickered at that – heads coated white with dust and pointing fingers. So I did not get any magic dust and was doomed from the start.
Why do I believe this?
Well, because it seems like I’m the only individual that DOES NOT understand whatever poem we are working on. (Seems like it, I do realize I’m probably not the only one..but I like to over dramatize everything. It makes me feel better.) There are times where I walk into the classroom, head held high, actually excited to start discussing things, and I sit down and am just about to raise my head when someone else does before me. No problem there, I’m fine with that. I didn’t want to be first that much anyways. BUT (and this always makes me sad inside) when they start explaining their thoughts and I see my teacher nodding enthusiastically and everyone else chorusing out “Yes, that’s what I thought too!” I snap my mouth shut, lower my hand, and hang my head. Yet again, I failed to comprehend the apparent obvious deeper meaning to the text. And again I feel so intellectually incompetent.
Here’s how it usually plays out for me:
Teacher: So what did everyone think about “Cats and Dogs in Paris”?
Student #1: “I was fascinated by the vivid imagery in stanzas 4 and 5. Combined with the Greek mythology references, the poet truly captured the essence of the traitorous yet amorous relationship between canine and feline creatures.”
Me: *looks around dazed*
Student #2: “I agree completely. I also noted that the last three lines of the poem contained the words “dream”, “spirit”, and “mirage”, thus I’m suggesting – not completely sure about this, but I think I’m right – that Persephone the cat was only dreaming about being in Paris when she’s actually in Idaho and that Adonis the dog is her guardian angel.”
Teacher: “You are absolutely right! Now can anyone explain to me the central conflict in this poem?”
Student #3: “Well while Sir Bradley Wright explored the spitfire cat-dog relationship in the first couple stanzas, he dived deeper into something more dark and sensual when he began to focus on Persephone and Adonis later on. Since Adonis is an angel dog, Persephone’s love for him will never be able to reach fruition and she will live a sad life. Very tragic.”
Student #4: “AND! her dreaming of being in Paris only emphasizes this! She wishes to be in the place of love because she knows she can’t ever be one with her true love!”
Me: “Wait. What? Be one with…cat…dog? Oh god no…“
Student #5: “It’s like Romeo and Juliet!”
Teacher: “Yes, yes, now can anyone explain why Wright used the rhetoric device Apostrophe when he had Persephone call out to Fate?”
Me: “But..but…I thought it was just about cats and dogs…in Paris..”
Why can’t I see what they see? Why can’t I understand what they understand? Why can’t I think like they think?
More importantly, do I want to???
P.S. This is a lie. Cat’s can’t have guardian angels. Everyone knows that.