Monday, July 10, 2017

Monday's Poetry: "Dog"

by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

Today is Rosie's third birthday, and while my little Chihuahua receives royal treatment every day, I thought this might be a good time to feature a poem with a canine theme in honor of Rosie's big day.   I was looking for a verse that stressed the close bond between dogs and humans, a bond that has developed and strengthened over countless millennia, but opted instead for a poem simply titled "Dog" by San Francisco poet and peace activist, Lawrence Ferlinghetti.  Instead of highlighting a dog's dependence on man, or vice-versa, Ferlinghetti chose to focus on the independent nature of a San Francisco street dog.

Ferlinghetti's "Dog" is a charming creature who traverses his world as a curious spirit, one who is living a life unchained with a level of freedom that most of us humans will never get to experience.

Rosie's life is quite different from the one described in this poem, but, I suspect, she, too, is enjoying a level of peace and contentment that eludes most humans.

Happy birthday, Rosie!  May we celebrate many, many more special days together.

by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The dog trots freely in the street
and sees reality
and the things he sees
are bigger than himself
and the things he sees
are his reality
Drunks in doorways
Moons on trees
The dog trots freely thru the street
and the things he sees
are smaller than himself
Fish on newsprint
Ants in holes
Chickens in Chinatown windows
their heads a block away
The dog trots freely in the street
and the things he smells
smell something like himself
The dog trots freely in the street
past puddles and babies
cats and cigars
poolrooms and policemen
He doesn’t hate cops
He merely has no use for them
and he goes past them
and past the dead cows hung up whole
in front of the San Francisco Meat Market
He would rather eat a tender cow
than a tough policeman
though either might do
And he goes past the Romeo Ravioli Factory
and past Coit’s Tower
and past Congressman Doyle
He’s afraid of Coit’s Tower
but he’s not afraid of Congressman Doyle
although what he hears is very discouraging
very depressing
very absurd
to a sad young dog like himself
to a serious dog like himself
But he has his own free world to live in
His own fleas to eat
He will not be muzzled
Congressman Doyle is just another
fire hydrant
to him
The dog trots freely in the street
and has his own dog’s life to live
and to think about
and to reflect upon
touching and tasting and testing everything
investigating everything
without benefit of perjury
a real realist
with a real tale to tell
and a real tail to tell it with
a real live
                         democratic dog
engaged in real
                      free enterprise
with something to say
                             about ontology
something to say
                        about reality
                                        and how to see it
                                                               and how to hear it
with his head cocked sideways
                                       at streetcorners
as if he is just about to have
                                       his picture taken
                                                             for Victor Records
                                  listening for
                                                   His Master’s Voice
                      and looking
                                       like a living questionmark
                                                                 into the
                                                              great gramaphone
                                                           of puzzling existence
                 with its wondrous hollow horn
                         which always seems
                     just about to spout forth
                                                      some Victorious answer
                                                              to everything

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

Clyde Doyle served on the House Un-American Activities Committee from 1951 until his death in 1963. He died in office. The Beat Generation, of which Ferlinghetti was a member, held HUAC in disdain.