Archives for posts with tag: William Jay Smith

by William Jay Smith

I have a white cat whose name is Moon;
He eats catfish from a wooden spoon,
And sleeps till five each afternoon.
Moon goes out when the moon is bright
And sycamore trees are spotted white
To sit and stare in the dead of night.
Beyond still water cries a loon,
Through mulberry leaves peers a wild baboon,
And in Moon’s eyes I see the moon.

SOURCE: “Moon” appears in William Jay Smith’s collection Laughing Time: Collected Nonsense (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1980).

ART: “Beauty in White” by DanceswithCats. Cards available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: William Jay Smith, age 95, served as the nineteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1968 to 1970. Born in Louisiana, and brought in Missouri, Smith received his A.B. and M.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, and continued his studies at Columbia University and Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Smith was a poet in residence at Williams College from 1959–1967 and taught at Columbia University from 1973 until 1975. He serves as the Professor Emeritus of English literature at Hollins University. Smith is the author of ten collections of poetry, including two finalists for the National Book Award. He has been member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1975.



poem by William Jay Smith

Round or square

Or tall or flat

People love

To wear a hat.

Taken from Laughing Time: Collected Nonsense (1980) by William Jay Smith. Find the book on Amazon here.

Photo by Silver Birch (Los Angeles)

Note on Photo: While running an errand, I spotted a grandmother and granddaughter in identical hats. I pulled over in my car and managed to fire off a fast shot. It struck me that if girls are lucky, they will have a kind grandmother to lead the way for them — and even lend them their too-large hats that they can grow into.