The poem entitled “Curiosity” written by Alastair Reid is a symbolic poem that uses cats as a metaphor for humans. It relates felines to people in the sense of curiosity, and what could be considered actually living life to the fullest. Essentially, this work contradicts the popular phrase, “curiosity killed the cat” by placing it within a broader context. Instead of discouraging curiosity, Reid explains why people should embrace it.
In the first stanza, the author argues that the cat may have died from curiosity, but that it may have been a chosen death. “Or else curious to see what death was like, having no cause to go on licking paws, or fathering litter on litter of kittens, predictably.” (lines, 2-5) Basically, the author is relating a cat’s lack of interest in life and curiosity in death to a suicidal situation. He is using predictability and boredom with life as a justifiable excuse to explore the depths of death, purely out of curiosity.
The second stanza is the author’s first admittance that curiosity can be dangerous, but only when one is constantly distrusting what is said. Furthermore, the author redeems curiosity in the third stanza. “Face it. Curiosity will not cause us to die-only lack of it will.” (lines, 15-17) Reid progresses to describe how apathy in life will be more of a cause of death, or suicide, than curiosity. If one has no desire to look further in life and discover new ideas or uncharted territory, they will eventually lose the voracity for their existence. The author even goes to say that the curious are the only ones with lives worth living and a tale worth telling.
The fourth and final stanza includes a...