sage smudge stick in bowl on marble shelf near buddha head

Familiar Spirit

Another poem found among my grandparent’s possessions. This one comes courtesy of an old, old volume of The Line Book. The inner cover explains that it’s “a compilation of the choicest verse and prose published the ‘Line o’ Type or Two’ column of the Chicago Tribune”. This particular volume of excerpts from Richard Henry Little’s columns was from 1935, but the books were published from 1924 to at least 1947. I expect to be posting many more treasures found from other volumes soon!

Familiar Spirit

Trouble is a yellow cat
Because that’s her nature.
Trouble’s curiosity
With no redeeming feature.
Trouble has a sharp tooth,
A quick slashing claw;
She sheathes evil daggers
In a small velvet paw

Trouble’s purely feminine –
Women are trouble –
She pries in the corners;
She digs in the rubble.
She cries after moonbeams;
She snarls and she hisses;
She purrs after spankings;
She bites when she kisses.

Why call her Trouble?
Well, she sleeps on my pillow,
She follows behind me,
She sups to her fill. Oh,
She harries and loves me
And enemies enthrall her.
Not call her Trouble?
What else could I call her?

-Nancy Shores

13 thoughts on “Familiar Spirit

    1. Definitely sexist, which is the only part about it that I didn’t like. But I guess that attitude was the norm in 1935 – glad times have changed. Thanks for commenting!

  1. Corina – Nancy Shores is my paternal grandmother. I never met her; she passed away in 1951. I tripped over your blog entry doing some searches on the web for Chicago Tribune Line OType poet Nancy Shores. I have found very little information about her to date. I just learned today that she was a contributor to Line O’Type. Do you have any sense for how many poems she has in The Line Book and over what years? I’ll have to start searching that online. What a pleasant surprise to find her poem on your blog.

    1. Hi Nancy! I just randomly found this in one of the Line Books, but she may have more in them. They did seem to use the same contributors/authors on multiple occasions. Right now all of the books are packed away, but once I find them amidst all my stuff I will look more closely. If I find any more by your grandmother I will certainly let you know!

      Also this is why I love the internet – something was made like 80 years ago, re-discovered and posted online two years ago, and now you happened upon it all this time later. It’s pretty cool, huh? :)

      1. Corina – just out of curiosity, what was your grandparents last name and where did they live?

        1. Let me ask the question a different way. Was the last name Burcham or DuVal?

          1. Nope neither of those. To be honest I’m not even sure exactly which family member collected those Linebooks originally. Could have been any number of relatives!

            1. If you ever decide you’d like to get rid of them, I’d be happy to take them off your hands!

          2. Nancy Shores was married to Alexander Gilmore DuVal, who later married my great-aunt. I have some info and contacts regarding her if you’d like to contact me.

            1. Kathi – I’d be very interested in whatever info you have on Nancy and Alex. I have pieced together a little bit…very little! What is the best way to contact you?

Leave a Reply