Dr. Scott Proudfit, who teaches in Elon’s English Department, discusses the poetry of T. S. Eliot in his Talk on the Steps for Cats, 10 February 2017, at the McCrary Theatre. He explained that while Eliot is remembered as a modernist master, his whimsical Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats was long a children’s favorite in England. The famous song “Memory,” however, is freely adapted by original director Trevor Nunn from Eliot’s poem “Rhapsody on a Windy Night.” Compare the first verse of Eliot’s poem with the song lyrics:
“Rhapsody on a Windy Night” -T. S. Eliot
Not a sound from the pavement
Has the moon lost her memory
She is smiling alone
In the lamplight
The withered leaves collect at my feet
And the wind begins to moan.