From Anne Lamott’s Pen

Following a writing prompt requiring the poet to pull words from a published book, I ended up with this poem. I wish I could remember which prompt I used–and how much I varied or not from it, but it was a couple of months ago. And these months have been full of work stress, so my memory looks moth-eaten.

The book I used was Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, a popular “writing text.” The subtitle is “Some Instructions on Writing and Life,” and I would say that the instructions are more on point for life–and maybe that’s why it is so popular!



(in the voice of Anne Lamott)


Find God


On Loan

Crazy Clocks

Special Effects

This Effect

Ring True

One Door Shut



God’s Home

Samuel Beckett

Dirty Feet

Tiny Word


One Leaf



Personal Drama



Pure Radiance

Way to the Truth

Present Moment


Each one of these names resonates for me with what cats mean to me. Gosh, that sounds like an essay assignment for fifth grade. A fun assignment!

Maybe you can find a name for your next cat from my list haha.


Filed under #AmWriting, Cats and Other Animals, Poetry, Writing, writing prompt

31 responses to “From Anne Lamott’s Pen

  1. Wordsworth! What a great name. And glad to read that Perry is passing all his tests. Good news, indeed.

    • I always have thought Wordsworth is an amazing name for a poet. For a cat even better! I can’t wait to receive your book, Ellen! Thank you re my dear boy.

  2. I like Pure Radiance. 🙂 Great list!

  3. I loved all of Anne Lamott’s books. This was an interesting assignment. I would choose Rumi. Most cats are so in the moment and laid back and he was a poet after all. 😉

  4. Bird by Bird one of my all time favorites! Anne Lamott brilliant.

  5. Those toes! I love cats’ little baked-bean toes!

  6. One of my favorite books. I can relate to Crazy Clocks. Been up since 2 due to one of those. But there’s also God’s Home, so it balances out. Love that little footsie!!

    • Those are two of my favorites! I don’t really have crazy clocks any longer, but when Felix used to get the zoomed…. God’s Home is so beautiful.

  7. Such a fun list. I agree that Wordsworth is a wonderful name (for poet or cat). I laughed at Personal Drama because I think that would fit a lot of cats. Mine always have people names though. When I was growing up, my piano teacher had a cat named Hemingway. It fit him. 🙂

  8. Love this list! All of our cats except one have had people names. It makes seem less odd to talk to them 😉 Recently I came across a cat with a really cool name: Cupcake Schoolbus. She featured in a story on Medium. I’ll look for it and share it on Twitter.

  9. Some lovely and appropriate names! Has Perry had his lab results yet?

  10. Dirty Feet is better for dogs 😉 — Or, at least, mine. But I like it.

  11. On Loan. That’s a beauty. Also, I have Personal Drama living in my household, Pickles. Or as we sometimes say, Pitikit. Or, “she’s got too many meows.” On my recent trip to visit family in San Jose, their cat Hobbes, an orange and white tabby, did me the favor of meowing outside my door in the morning and then coming in when I opened it, jumping on the covers of the bed, plopping down and purring, her tail thumping against my arm as I lay in bed. A few minutes later the family dog, a black-and-white shepherd-type dog, clicked into the bedroom on toenails and came over to put her black-and-white muzzle on the bedcovers for a pat. What a treat! LIKE this poem, Luanne!

    • I love On Loan! They are, too. Yes, I was actually thinking of Pickles for Personal Drama hahahahahaha. Oh, those guys loved you!!!! Thank you re the poem!

  12. Yes, of course! The list-style and juxtaposition of phrases was very powerful. 🙂

  13. I loved Bird by Bird!

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