I still remember the Samoyed I had as a pet at age 12, a more intelligent animal I couldn't imagine. Any others out there have poems about or tributes to canines?
If there's a doggy heaven,
I know that's where you are--
About a billion miles away,
Standing on a star.
It's a doggy paradise;
No fences and no leads.
There won't be any do's or don'ts.
You can do just as you please.
There'll be lots of bones to chew
And lots of holes to dig.
There'll be lots of other dogs--
Little ones and big!
You can romp and play with new-found friends
Forever, don't you see?
So, why are you sitting at the gate
Just waiting there for me?
Zoa Rockenstein 1975
The Power of the Dog. "There is sorrow enough in the natural way"
Four feet. "I have done mostly what most men do"
Dinah in Heaven. "She did not know that she was dead"
His Apologies. "Master, this is Thy Servant. He is risong eight weeks old"
Will that do for starters?
Here's a batch to keep you busy-
Thanks Linda. Pam, I thought someone might have discussed this before. Thanks for the link.
Has anyone ever read the book "The World According to Dog"?
I've always liked this poem...
The Pardon - by Richard Wilbur
My dog lay dead five days without a grave
In the thick of summer, hid in a clump of pine
And a jungle of grass and honey-suckle vine.
I who had loved him while he kept alive
Went only close enough to where he was
To sniff the heavy honeysuckle-smell
Twined with another odor heavier still
And hear the flies' intolerable buzz.
Well, I was ten and very much afraid.
In my kind world the dead were out of range
And I could not forgive the sad or strange
In beast or man. My father took the spade
And buried him. Last night I saw the grass
Slowly divide (it was the same scene
But now it glowed a fierce and mortal green)
And saw the dog emerging. I confess
I felt afraid again, but still he came
In the carnal sun, clothed in a hymn of flies,
And death was breeding in his lively eyes.
I started in to cry and call his name,
Asking forgiveness of his tongueless head.
..I dreamt the past was never past redeeming:
But whether this was false or honest dreaming
I beg death's pardon now. And mourn the dead.
No, but it sure sounds good!
Good one, Anneliese.
Here's one from the classical poems list:
by Robert Lee Frost
The great Overdog
That heavenly beast
With a star in one eye
Gives a leap in the east.
He dances upright
All the way to the west
And never once drops
On his forefeet to rest.
I'm a poor underdog,
But to-night I will bark
With the great Overdog
That romps through the dark.
Dogs in the Morning Light
Responsive to the tune of lawns and trees
Dogs sally forth
In whiskery mongrel innocence; all over town
The irresistible rumour of the day
Prickles their hides and sets their bladders singing
Of doggy derring-do beyond their dreams.
No street but has its canine tributary
- Confluent in lanes,
They swirl about in bright-eyed vortices,
Whirlpools of snap and sniff and pink-tongued grin.
Quizzical howdies done, the world's a labyrinth
Of tortuous delight through which his nose
Leads on each quivering Theseus.
Dazed, dazed they go
Into the maze of history where the sharpest
Barkers fall silent...
O humble retrospection, whose sole means
Lies in the bleached unanswerable
Excreta of the past, the spicy airs
Rising from every spot where dogs have paused,
And, pausing, thrown a bridge across Time's stream!
Let the bells swing low, their clappers muffled be,
All over town, in many a public place,
Dogs are having their first one for the day,
Rapt vacuity on each raffish face.
I will have to dig out a poem that a friend of mine (now deceased) wrote about her dog Bruce barking at the thunder gods. He lives with me now, and still does so, at age 14.
The Seeing Eye
by Ezra Pound
The small dogs look at the big dogs;
They observe unwieldy dimensions
And curious imperfections of odor.
Here is the formal male group:
The young men look upon their seniors,
They consider the elderly mind
And observe its inexplicable correlations.
It is only in small dogs and the young
That we find minute observation
Try this site for LOTS of comedy/satire about dogs.
Thanks for the link Jack, it is a fun read.
May I use your poem Sounder in a book I am writing on dogs. You will receive full credit for your work and a copy of the book when it is published. Thank you for your consideration. Pat Coyner
Here's another one I just ran across:
A Dog Has Died ----Pablo Neruda
My dog has died.
I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.
Some day I'll join him right there,
but now he's gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I'll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.
Ai, I'll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
he never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of his hair or his mange,
he never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.
No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he'd keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.
Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea's movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean's spray.
Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.
There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don't now and never did lie to each other.
So now he's gone and I buried him,
and that's all there is to it.