The Blue Bowl

Kenyon, Jane

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Dittrich, Lisa
  • Date of entry: Dec-15-1996


The speaker describes burying a pet cat, and evokes the feelings she and her companion experience at the time, and the following day. They bury the cat with its bowl--hence the title.


In this short poem, Kenyon captures how such "small" losses can clutch at us, and how ritual helps the living to part with the dead ("Like primitives we buried the cat / with his bowl."). She also evokes the strangeness (and irritation) those in mourning feel as they observe the world continuing on its way, oblivious to their grief ("a robin / burbles from a dripping bush / like the neighbor who means well / but always says the wrong thing.").

Primary Source

Otherwise: New and Selected Poems



Place Published

Saint Paul, Minn.