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The Cat Killed Curiosity_DSC_0342_cropped.jpg

The Cat Killed Curiosity


To make a short story

long, invention is


the mother of necessity

and too many


broths can spoil

the cook—want not


waste not.

Manner your minds.


Contempt breeds



Birds of a flock feather

together and if you lie


down with fleas

you’ll wake up


with dogs. Let lying

cats sleep.


There’s a madness

to the method. Every


silver lining

has a cloud


and sometimes words

speak louder


than actions.

Now look


what dragged in

the cat.

Curiosity Killed the Cat


To make a long story

short, necessity is

the mother of invention

and too many

cooks can spoil

the broth–waste not

want not.

Mind your manners.

Familiarity breeds


Birds of a feather flock

together and if you lie

down with dogs

you'll wake up

with fleas. Let sleeping

cats lie.

There's a method

to the madness. Every

cloud has a

silver lining

and sometimes actions

speak louder

than words. 

Now look

what the cat

dragged in.


“A word after a word after a word is power” and Georgia O’Keeffe said, “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” 


This artwork combines these ideas. Head on, letters float peacefully among a flock of birds as the sun sets. Viewed from the left, a poem is discoverable, “Curiosity Killed the Cat” and it is comprised entirely of  common idioms. Viewed from the right, another poem emerges, “The Cat Killed Curiosity.” In this poem, the idioms are all reversed. The effect is to turn everything on its head and into question, “there’s a madness to the method.” The poem’s last sentence, “Now look what dragged in the cat” serves as an instruction for the viewers to consider the weight of each rephrasing that precedes it.

the cat killed curiosityBarbara Campbell
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