The Naming of Cats lyrics

T.S. Eliot

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES
First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo, or James
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey—
All of them sensible everyday names
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter—
But all of them sensible everyday names
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular
A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum—
Names that never belong to more than one cat
But above and beyond there’s still one name left over
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover—
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess
When you notice a cat in profound meditation
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular name

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