Mr. Mistoffelees Poem – T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

Mr. Mistoffelees is a character in T. S. Eliot’s 1939 poetry book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and its 1981 musical adaptation, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats. Mistoffelees is a young black-and-white tuxedo cat with magical powers that he cannot yet fully control. He is a featured dancer and his signature move is the “Conjuring Turn”, consisting of 24 consecutive fouettés en tournant. His chorus identity is sometimes named Quaxo.

The role of Mr. Mistoffelees was originated by Wayne Sleep in the West End in 1981, and by Timothy Scott on Broadway in 1982. Jacob Brent portrayed the character in the 1998 film, while Laurie Davidson portrayed him in the 2019 film.

Mr. Mistoffelees Poem - T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)
Mr. Mistoffelees Poem – T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

Mr. Mistoffelees Poem – T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

You ought to know Mr. Mistoffelees!

The Original Conjuring Cat-

(There can be no doubt about that).

Please listen to me and don’t scoff. All his

Inventions are off his own bat.

There’s no such Cat in the metropolis;

He holds all the patent monopolies

For performing suprising illusions

And creating eccentric confusions.

At prestidigitation

And at legerdemain

He’ll defy examination

And deceive you again.

The greatest magicians have something to

learn

From Mr. Mistoffelees’ Conjuring Turn.

Presto!

Away we go!

And we all say: OH!

Well I never!

Was there ever

A Cat so clever

As Magical Mr. Mistoffelees!

He is quiet and small, he is black

From his ears to the tip of his tail;

He can creep through the tiniest crack,

He can walk on the narrowest rail.

He can pick any card from a pack,

He is equally cunning with dice

He is always deceiving you into believing

That he’s only hunting for

ce.

He can play any trick with a cork

Or a spoon and a bit of fish-paste;

If you look for a knife or a fork

And you think it is merely misplaced-

You have seen it one moment, and then it is

gawn!

But you’ll find it next week lying out on the

lawn.

And we all say: OH!

Well I never!

Was there ever

A Cat so clever

As Magical Mr. Mistoffelees!

His manner is vague and aloof,

You would think there was nobody shyer–

But his voice has been heard on the roof

When he was curled up by the fire.

And he’s sometimes been heard by the fire

When he was about on the roof-

(At least we all heard that somebody purred)

Which is incontestable proof

of his singular magical powers:

And I have known the family to call

Him in from the garden for hours,

While he was asleep in the hall.

And not long ago this phenomenal Cat

Produced seven kittens right out of a hat!

And we al said: OH!

Well I never!

Did you ever

Know a Cat so clever

As Magical Mr. Mistoffelees!

Read All Poem By T.S Eliot – Click Here 

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