The poem Macavity – The Mystery Cat
by T S Eliot
Introduction … This poem is best known of T.S. Eliot’s ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’. This is the only book Eliot wrote for younger audience.
Macavity is, in all likelihood, a notorious, but extremely wily and villainous human being given to committing daring crimes. The most efficient detective agencies fail to apprehend him, although they are sure the crime is committed by Macavity.
Poem … 1st stanza …
Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw–
For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law.
He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair:
For when they reach the scene of crime–Macavity’s not there!
Explanation … Macavity is agile, cunning, and a master of deceit. Soon after a crime is reported, the Scotland Yard and the Flying Squad swing into action to catch him, but he succeeds in throwing them off his trail.
Poem … 2nd stanza ….
Macavity, Macavity, there’s no on like Macavity,
He’s broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.
His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,
And when you reach the scene of crime–Macavity’s not there!
You may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air–
But I tell you once and once again, Macavity’s not there!
Explanation … Macavity breaks laws with virtual impunity, because he manages to evade arrest by the anti-crime establishment. He is gifted with the power to defy the forces of gravity. He uses this asset to accomplish his hideous plans. He flees the spot of the crime with alarming ease and speed, outsmarting the police. In all cases, his lightening speed of escape frustrates the police.