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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Poetry Friday--Mass Poetry Festival

Windham is just about an hour away from Salem, MA. And, an hour is really a short ride when you consider that at the end of it is a world of contemporary poetry! This weekend is the Mass Poetry Festival being held in downtown Salem.

One of the featured poets is Mark Doty. I've selected a short poem from Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems [811.54 DOT], which, if you're a dog lover, I'm positive you'll enjoy!
Golden Retrievals

Fetch? Balls and sticks capture my attention
seconds at a time. Catch? I don’t think so.
Bunny, tumbling leaf, a squirrel who’s--oh
joy--actually scared. Sniff the wind, then

I’m off again: muck, pond, ditch, residue
of any thrillingly dead thing. And you?
Either you’re sunk in the past, half our walk,
thinking of what you never can bring back,

or else you’re off in some fog concerning
--tomorrow, is that what you call it? My work:
to unsnare time’s warp (and woof!), retrieving,
my haze-headed friend, you. This shining bark,

a Zen master’s bronzy gong, calls you here,
entirely, now: bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wow.

What did I tell you? Did he capture a dog or what? I love it!

Visit Buffy's Blog for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up and I hope to see you among the poetry lovers in Salem!

Illustration courtesy NY Public Library Digital Collections.


  1. Oh wow! I love this poem and yes, it captures the dog's joy at being alive and out for a walk perfectly! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Yep--that's my dog when we walk. Always in the moment, and the moment changes with each sniff.

  3. Perfect doggie derring-do. :-)

  4. While I have never had a dog (my husband is allergic), I love the poem that reminds me of the loving dogs my friends have.