13 Ways of Looking at a Hamster

On August 3, 2010 by Eden M. Kennedy


The house was dark.
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the hamster.


I was of three minds
Like a habitrail
In which there are three hamsters.


The hamster whirled in its spinning wheel.
It was a small part of the condominium.


A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a hamster and a tortoise and a bulldog and a nine-year-old boy
Are one.


I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of wanting seeds
Or the beauty of having them,
The hamster digesting
Or just after.


Incomprehensible things were written.
The hamster ignored them.


O tan men of Hollywood,
Why do you imagine golden beavers?
Do you not see how the hamster
Scampers around the feet
Of the women about you?


I know Mexican accents
And lucid, unrepeatable curses;
But I know, too,
That the hamster doesn’t care
What I know.


When the hamster burrowed out of sight,
It marked the beginning
Of one of many sunrises.


At the sight of hamsters
Flying in a green light,
Even the neighborhood weirdos
Would cry out sharply.


He rode over California
In a glass hybrid.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his Prius
For a swarm of hamsters.


The wood chips are moving.
The hamster must be breathing.


It was evening all afternoon.
The hills were burning
And they were going to burn.
The hamster sat
In his food cup.

Apologies to Wallace Stevens.



26 Responses to “13 Ways of Looking at a Hamster”

  • bloody brilliant.

  • Genius.

  • IX is my favorite. I love it when you post poetry.

  • Ha! Mrs. Kennedy, you never fail to entertain me.

  • Hysterically beautiful!

  • I like this one–could be the start to a really good Mystery Thriller–Watch out JD Robbs!
    The house was dark.
    The only moving thing
    Was the eye of the hamster.

  • well, this has got to be some of the best poetry ever written. thank you. i needed some high culture in my diet today.

  • That’s what I’m here for.

  • Two words: High-larious.

  • The hamster digesting
    or just after

    Haaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha!

  • I do not know which to prefer,
    The beauty of the original
    Or the beauty of this homage,
    The blackbird whistling
    Or the hamster.

  • this made me proper laugh out loud at a volume that made my bf come and see what was funny and then he didn’t get it because he did comp sci not english lit.


  • The New Yorker wishes it could get quality wordsmithery such as this submitted to its Poetry Department. The stuff they normally receive (and sometimes publish) tends to blow, but this?

    This does not blow.

  • I want to marry this.

  • repeatedly snapping my thumbs against my middle and index fingers in appreciation.

  • Muhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
    I love it!

  • Oh noooo. Hamsters can be the ruin of the relationship between mother and child! After “replacing” 3 hamsters, I finally discovered–the hard way, that my darling 3 year old was squeezing them until their eyes “popped out.” I responded in a “shocked and non-motherly way!”She denies this now, but she has not yet her 4 year old get a hamster. HA! But Christmas is comming!

  • Ah, the memories this post brings…..
    Cary Bill the hamster, master escape artist. Found him once…in the pair of jeans I’d taken off the night before. Woke the (now late) husband yelling “Cary Bill is in my pants!”
    A couple of times I knew Cary Bill was behind the fridge or stove. I put a trail of raisins (his fav snack) leading to a couple of tunnels from his mansion. Worked! he walked into the tunnels, I scooped him up.
    The most amusing re-capture was when I found him walking around the living room with his pouches filled with cat food, 3 cats following him around, wanting their food back.
    Luckily, Cary Bill lived to the ripe old age of 5 and passed from natural causes, mid-run through his tunnel maze.

  • I think the ‘shouts and murmurs’ page of the New Yorker needs to print this.

    My favorite is VIII.

    Freaking brilliant.

  • Number II, oh my goodness, number II. That’s why I can’t ever catch up with myself. Because I’m manic and lazy and confused, all at the same time. If only I could exist somewhere in the middle, hovering. Or Hoovering.

  • Man, that was really good! Wish I could do it…LOL!

  • I love this, too. It is hella awesome.

    This post reminds me of another “apologies to Wallace Stevens”-type page: The Emperor of Ice-Cream Cakes.

  • Obvious:
    Perhaps it is my own oddness that resonates so completely with this post. But this was F&^$%ing FUNNY. Best post EVER.

    Wading in red penstrokes
    She sighs for a chance to stray.
    A clean click to the machine
    She finds Hamster Haiku Heaven!
    She is on the floor.