Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer Poem – T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer are fictional characters in T. S. Eliot’s 1939 poetry book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. The Jellicle cat duo are mischievous petty thieves who often cause trouble for their human family. Although originally published as part of a collection, the poem “Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer” was published as a standalone book by Faber and Faber in 2018.

Eliot’s book was adapted into the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats. The roles of Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer were originated by John Thornton and Bonnie Langford in the West End in 1981 and by Rene Clemente and Christine Langner on Broadway in 1982.

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer Poem - T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)
Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer Poem – T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer Poem – T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer were a very

otorious couple

of cats.

s knockabout clown, quick-change

omedians, tight-rope

walkers and acrobats

[hey had extensive reputation. They made

heir home in

Victoria Grove–

Ihat was merely their centre of operation, for

hey were

incurably given to rove.

hey were very well know in Cornwall1

Gardens, in Launceston

Place and in Kensington Square-

hey had really a little more reputation than a

:ouple of

cats can very well bear.

fthe area window was found ajar

And the basement looked like a field of war,

fa tile or two came loose on the roof,

Which presently ceased to be waterproof,

fthe drawers were pulled out from the

edroom chests,

nd you couldn’t find one of your winter vests,

Dr after supper one of the girls

uddenly missed her Woolworth pearls:

Then the family would say: “It’s that horrible

at!

t was Mungojerrie–or Rumpelteazer!”- And

nost of the time

they left it at that.

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer hada very

nusual gift of the

gab.

[hey were highly efficient cat-burglars as wel,

And

remarkably smart at smash-and-grab.

[hey made their home in Victoria Grove. They

ad no

ular

occupation.

They were plausible fellows, and liked to

engage a friendly

policeman in conversation.

Vhen the family assembled for Sunday dinner,

Nith their minds made up that they wouldnt

get thinner

n Argentine joint, potatoes and greens,

And the cook would appear from behind the

cenes

And say ina voice that was broken with

orrow:

I’m afiraid you must wait and have dinner

omorrow!

or the joint has gone from the oven-like that”

Then the family would say: “It’s that horrible

at!

t was Mungojerrie–or Rumpelteazer!”- And

most of the time

they left it at that.

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer had a

vonderful way of working

together.

And some of the time you would say it was

Luck, and some of

the time you would say it was weather.

[hey would go through the house like a

urricane, and no sober

person could take his oath

Nas it Mungojerrie–or Rumpelteazer? or

ould you have sworn

that it mightn’t be both?

ind when you heard a dining-room smash

Dr up from the pantry there came a loud crash

Or down from the library came a loud ping

rom a vase which was commonly said to be

Ming–

Ihen the family would say: “Now which was

which cat?

was Mungojerrie! AND Rumpelteazer!”

And there’s nothing

at all to be done about that!

Read All Poem By T.S Eliot – Click Here 

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