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Friday, November 01, 2013

Poetry Friday--Dog Songs

Kurious Kitty doesn't make it a habit of suggesting books about dogs, but I'll make an exception for this new book of poetry by Mary Oliver, Dog Songs: Thirty-Five Dog Songs and One Essay [811.54 OLI]. From the jacket copy:
Oliver's poems begin in the small everyday moments familiar to all dog lovers, but through her extraordinary vision these observations become higher meditations on the world and our place in it.
I love it when a poet celebrates the "small everyday moments," and Oliver does it so well as seen in this poem:
The Dog Has Run Off Again (Benjamin)

and I should start shouting his name
and clapping my hands,
but it has been raining all night
and the narrow creek has risen
is a tawny turbulence is rushing along
over the mossy stones
is surging forward
with a sweet loopy music
and therefore I don’t want to entangle it
with my own voice
calling summoning
my little dog to hurry back
look, the sunlight and the shadows are chasing each other
listen how the wind swirls and leaps and dives up and down
who am I to summon his hard and happy body
his four white feet that love to wheel and pedal
through the dark leaves
to come back to walk by my side, obedient.
It's one of those poems that make you stop, take a deep breath and say, "Nice..."

TeacherDance is hosting this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up. Next week I won't be here for P.F. since I'm taking the day off to play Round-Up host at my personal blog!


  1. yes, indeed, it is 'nice'. I like that she talks about not interrupting what is there with her voice. We should all think first and pause and look. I've heard this book is lovely, like her others. Thanks Diane!

  2. Thanks Linda and Ruth. I urge you to look for the book at your public library or bookstore.

  3. I can't wait to get my copy of Oliver's new offerings - and I love this one, so exactly the happy spirit of a dog let loose.

  4. It's amazing to see a book of poetry in the Publishers Weekly list of nonfiction bestsellers. It is #24 (down from #10 last week).