David Berman


Feline Retort

I tell my cat
She’s getting fat;
She looks at me amazedly;
Pink nose held high,
She seems to sigh,
“None of your sneers;
You’ve been for years.”

A Note

Dear Mesdames Rabbits, Chipmunks, Mice,
This brief note will, I hope, suffice
To say we share your anger that
Your young are menaced by our cat.
At home we feed her rather well;
Henceforth, outside, she’ll wear a bell.

A student of Robert Lowell and Archibald MacLeish, David Berman was an early and highly valued member of the Powow River Poets. He was born in New York City and raised in Hollywood, Florida. After earning his BA at the University of Florida, he did graduate work at Johns Hopkins and received his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School. From 1967 until his death in 2017, he practiced law in the Boston area. Berman’s work appeared in The Harvard Advocate, Counter/Measures, The Formalist, Piedmont Literary Review, Sparrow, Orbis, Iambs and Trochees, and Pivot, among other periodicals, and in his three chapbooks, Future Imperfect, Slippage, and David Berman’s Greatest Hits 1965-2002 (Pudding House Publications, 2003).