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July 22, 2009


Lovely! And as someone owned by three dogs, I can vouch that it is as true as true.

My favorite poem from the "Unleashed" anthology is this one, by Karen Shepard's dog, Birch:

"You gonna eat that?
You gonna eat that?
You gonna eat that?

I'll eat that."

Thanks for the poem by Karen Shepard's dog. I love it. Katherine works in a science lab, they are doing research on coral. One of her duties is to bring a poem to read for their weekly meeting. She will bring that one today. Her boss loves dogs, and she is the one who has the blog that my Adam and Eve's poem is on. I also had a dog that could talk. But that is another story.


"Adam and Eve's Dog" is a wonderful poem, I forgot to say.

And I think I speak for the rest of BAP readers when I say, tell us about the talking dog.

Every year or two, I go looking for a dog poem I saw once by a younger woman poet, pre-first book--and I can never find it. It might have been a prose poem; certainly it's anaphora-based.

I believe it's written to her labrador retriever, who may or may not be called Addy, and the idea is that "God is alive and well and moving through Brooklyn (I paraphrase--I can't seem to find the poem) in the form of a labrador retriever named...? (possibly Addy). My favorite part is when the speaker says that if Addy were a person, she would wash and fold strangers' laundry.

David Lehman also has a wonderful dog poem set with a friend's dog over the Jewish High Holidays. Here's the link:

The link to Katherine's work was wonderful, btw

I don't know that one, but here is a beautiful dog poem from Verse Daily:

An Ancient Dog Grave, Unearthed During Construction of the Athens Metro
A.E. Stallings

It is not the curled-up bones, nor even the grave
That stops me, but the blue beads on the collar
(Whose leather has long gone the way of hides),
The ones to ward off evil. A careful master
Even now protects a favorite, just so.
But what evil could she suffer after death?
I picture the loyal companion, bereaved of her master,
Trotting the long, dark way that slopes to the river,
Nearly trampled by all the nations marching down,
One war after another, flood or famine,
Her paws sucked by the thick, caliginous mud,
Deep as her dewclaws, near the riverbank.
In the press for the ferry, who will lift her into the boat?
Will she cower under the pier and be forgotten,
Forever howling and whimpering, tail tucked under?
What stranger pays her passage? Perhaps she swims,
Dog-paddling the current of oblivion.
A shake as she scrambles ashore sets the beads jingling.
And then, that last, tense moment — touching noses
Once, twice, three times, with unleashed Cerberus.

from his book Measure

Another great poem!

Dogs are terrific. One of my favorite dog poems is "Dog" by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. When I teach it, I bring my little terrier in to school to get us in the right frame of mind. Here's a link to it (when I tried to post it here, the enjambment got screwed up).

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