Dog

D
Twelve Songs: IX by W. H. Auden
W. H. Auden
April 1936 Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
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Th’ Dog Dreamers by José Montoya
José Montoya
Suddenly,
A mean-mouthed pack of dogs
Came out of stage left
Moving across America
In rapacious slow motion
Running funny, they said.
And how they appeared and disappeared
Didn’t help, either.
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What the Dog Perhaps Hears by Lisel Mueller
Lisel Mueller
If an inaudible whistle
blown between our lips
can send him home to us,
then silence is perhaps
the sound of spiders breathing
and roots mining the earth;
it may be asparagus heaving,
headfirst, into the light
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39
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The Winter Beach at Sanderling by Stanley Plumly
Stanley Plumly
The “wolves in the waves” driving or being driven
inside the rain, which is one sort of day to be alone
in, then again the beach mile either way disappearing
into the thinness of the air, dead detail of the gone world
from the night before—probably an eaten-out barrel
or two, traps and lines of netting, lumber and almost
carcasses and scored horseshoe shells—brought home
from who knows where, then someone with a dog
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The Hot Dog Factory (1937) by Grace Cavalieri
Grace Cavalieri
Of course now children take it for granted but once
we watched boxes on a conveyor belt, sliding by,
magically filled and closed, packed and wrapped.
We couldn't get enough of it, running alongside the machine.
In kindergarten Miss Haynes walked our class down
Stuyvesant Avenue, then up Prospect Street
to the hot dog factory. Only the girls got to go
as the boys were too wild.
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Death of a Dog by Ted Kooser
Ted Kooser
The next morning I felt that our house
had been lifted away from its foundation
during the night, and was now adrift,
though so heavy it drew a foot or more
of whatever was buoying it up, not water
but something cold and thin and clear,
silence riffling its surface as the house
began to turn on a strengthening current,
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Taking Off from an Old WCW Poem by George Bowering
George Bowering
Imagine that — my last words
might have been spoken to the dog, she
who saved my life, it has been said, spoken
with no thought
of reply nor of understanding, a genial insult
maybe, a philosophical conundrum
posed aeons before any household pet ever
turned an ear. In the ambulance I made no remark
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Man Dog by Jim Harrison
Jim Harrison
I envied the dog lying in the yard
so I did it. But there was a pebble
under my flank so I got up and looked
for the pebble, brushed it away
and lay back down. My dog thus far
overlooked the pebble. I guess it's her thick
Lab fur. With my head downhill the blood gorged
me with ideas. Not good. Got up. Turned around. Now I
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The Taxis by Louis MacNeice
Louis MacNeice
In the first taxi he was alone tra-la,
No extras on the clock. He tipped ninepence
But the cabby, while he thanked him, looked askance
As though to suggest someone had bummed a ride.

In the second taxi he was alone tra-la
But the clock showed sixpence extra; he tipped according
And the cabby from out his muffler said: ‘Make sure
You have left nothing behind tra-la between you’.
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An Egg Island Equinox by Brendan Galvin
Brendan Galvin
There is no radical shift of light
or redwings calling areas of marsh
their territories yet, nor plovers
probing for copepods. Only a yellow
front-end loader laying out a new berm
on the beach, from tubes too heavy
to be called hoses, its audience one man
and his protesting dog. No frosted
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City by Frederick Seidel
Frederick Seidel
Right now, a dog tied up in the street is barking
With the grief of being left,
A dog bereft.
Right now, a car is parking.

The dog emits
Petals of a barking flower and barking flakes of snow
That float upward from the street below
To where another victim sits:
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It's Been a While Since They Asked by Yehuda Amichai
Yehuda Amichai
It's been a while since they asked, Who lives in between these
houses,
And who was he, the last of the last to speak,
And who forgot his coat between these houses,
And who was the one who stayed. Why didn't he flee?

Among the blossomers, a dead tree stands, dead tree.
A long-standing error, a misunderstanding of yore,
The edge of the Land, where an era begins to be
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The Wise Dog by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
One day there passed by a company of cats a wise dog.

And as he came near and saw that they were very intent and heeded
him not, he stopped.

Then there arose in the midst of the company a large, grave cat and
looked upon them and said, “Brethren, pray ye; and when ye have
prayed again and yet again, nothing doubting, verily then it shall
rain mice.”

And when the dog heard this he laughed in his heart and turned from
them saying, “O blind and foolish cats, has it not been written and
have I not known and my fathers before me, that that which raineth
for prayer and faith and supplication is not mice but bones.”
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Getting the Child to Bed by Allen Grossman
Allen Grossman
Getting the child to bed is awful work,
Committing that rage to sleep that will not sleep.
The lie rots in my throat saying, “O.K.
There is balm in Gilead. Go to bed.
Honey of generation has betrayed us both.”
And truly it is no wild surmise of darkness
Nor Pisgah purview of Canaan drowned in blood
But only my child saying its say in bed.
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Poetry Is a Destructive Force by Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens
That's what misery is,
Nothing to have at heart.
It is to have or nothing.

It is a thing to have,
A lion, an ox in his breast,
To feel it breathing there.

Corazón, stout dog,
Young ox, bow-legged bear,
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Little Exercise by Elizabeth Bishop
Elizabeth Bishop
for Thomas Edwards Wanning Think of the storm roaming the sky uneasily
like a dog looking for a place to sleep in,
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This Room by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
The room I entered was a dream of   this room.
Surely all those feet on the sofa were mine.
The oval portrait
of   a dog was me at an early age.
Something shimmers, something is hushed up.

We had macaroni for lunch every day
except Sunday, when a small quail was induced
to be served to us. Why do I tell you these things?
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Dirty Face by Shel Silverstein
Shel Silverstein
Where did you get such a dirty face,
My darling dirty-faced child?

I got it from crawling along in the dirt
And biting two buttons off Jeremy’s shirt.
I got it from chewing the roots of a rose
And digging for clams in the yard with my nose.
I got it from peeking into a dark cave
And painting myself like a Navajo brave.
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Never Mind by Dorothea Tanning
Dorothea Tanning
Never mind the pins
And needles I am on.
Let all the other instruments
Of torture have their way.
While air-conditioners
Freeze my coffee
I watch the toaster
Eating my toast.
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How to Get There by Philip Levine
Philip Levine
Turn left off Henry onto Middagh Street
to see our famous firehouse, home
of Engine 205 and

Hook & Ladder 118 and home also to
the mythic painting “Fire under
the Bridge” decorating

the corrugated sliding door. The painting
depicts a giant American flag
wrinkled by wind

and dwarfing the famous Brooklyn Bridge
as it stretches as best it can
to get a purchase
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The Blind Man by Théophile Gautier
Théophile Gautier
A blind man, on the thoroughfare,
Startle-eyed as an owl by day,
Piping a dismal little air,
Taps here and there, loses his way,

Tootles awry his time-old ditty
Undauntedly, as by his side
Lopes his dog, guides him through the city,
Specter diurnal, sleepy-eyed.
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What the Bones Know by Carolyn Kizer
Carolyn Kizer
Remembering the past
And gloating at it now,
I know the frozen brow
And shaking sides of lust
Will dog me at my death
To catch my ghostly breath.

I think that Yeats was right,
That lust and love are one.
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Brother, I’ve seen some by Kabir
Kabir
Brother, I’ve seen some
Astonishing sights:
A lion keeping watch
Over pasturing cows;
A mother delivered
After her son was;
A guru prostrated
Before his disciple;
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November, Late in the Day by John M. Ridland
John M. Ridland
So this is aging: the bare sun, skinned,
palely bucking the dark wind,
slides through the glass, crawls on the carpet,
climbs the footboard, lies crosswise on the blanket,
a spoiled dog waiting to be fed.

Not now, dear warmth. The kindling’s in the shed,
too far to fetch. Those two great logs that close
together to make fire, repose
apart, an old couple reminiscing
on conflagrations they’re now missing:
how every sunny Saturday afternoon,
Hey, diddle-diddle, the dish ran away with the spoon.

Not yet, dear spoon. Some hotter day, dear dish.
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Soften and Melt by Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Ostriker
the man made me soften and melt
said the old woman

the bee made me shiver like a rag
said the dark red tulip

the bitch made me push
said the dog


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Song by Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Ostriker
Some claim the origin of song
was a war cry
some say it was a rhyme
telling the farmers when to plant and reap
don’t they know the first song was a lullaby
pulled from a mother’s sleep
said the old woman

A significant
factor generating my delight in being
alive this springtime
is the birdsong
that like a sweeping mesh has captured me
like diamond rain I can’t
hear it enough said the tulip
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Nursery Memories by Robert Graves
Robert Graves
I. – THE FIRST FUNERAL

(The first corpse I saw was on the
German wires, and couldn’t be buried)

The whole field was so smelly;
We smelt the poor dog first:
His horrid swollen belly
Looked just like going burst.

His fur was most untidy;
He hadn’t any eyes.
It happened on Good Friday
And there was lots of flies.

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Red Stains by Allen Tate
Allen Tate
In a pyloned desert where the scorpion reigns
My love and I plucked poppies breathing tales
Of crimes now long asleep, whose once–red stains
Dyed stabbing men, at sea with bloody sails.
The golden sand drowsed. There a dog yelped loud;
And in his cry rattled a hollow note
Of deep uncanny knowledge of that crowd
That loved and bled in winy times remote.
The poppies fainted when the moon came wide;
The cur lay still. Our passionate review
Of red wise folly dreamed on . . . She by my side
Stared at the Moon; and then I knew he knew.
And then he smiled at her; to him ’twas funny—
Her calm steel eyes, her earth–old throat of honey!

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The Blessing of the Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog by Alicia Ostriker
Alicia Ostriker
To be blessed
said the old woman
is to live and work
so hard
God’s love
washes right through you
like milk through a cow

To be blessed
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Son of Msippi by Henry Dumas
Henry Dumas
Up
from Msippi I grew.
(Bare walk and cane stalk
make a hungry belly talk.)
Up
from the river of death.
(Walk bare and stalk cane
make a hungry belly talk.)
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Or Death and December by George Garrett
George Garrett
The Roman Catholic bells of Princeton, New Jersey,
wake me from rousing dreams into a resounding hangover.
Sweet Jesus, my life is hateful to me.
Seven a.m. and time to walk my dog on a leash.

Ice on the sidewalk and in the gutters,
and the wind comes down our one-way street
like a deuce-and-a-half, a six-by, a semi,
huge with a cold load of growls.
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40
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Dog by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
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
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The Only Portrait of Emily Dickinson by Irene McKinney
Irene McKinney
The straight neck held up out of the lace
is bound with a black velvet band.
She holds her mouth the way she chooses,
the full underlip constrained by a small muscle.

She doesn’t blink or look aside,
although her left eye is considering
a slant. She would smile
if she had time, but right now
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A Diamond by Jack Spicer
Jack Spicer
A Translation for Robert Jones A diamond
Is there
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He Lived—Childhood Summers by Lorine Niedecker
Lorine Niedecker
He lived—childhood summers
thru bare feet
then years of money’s lack
and heat

beside the river—out of flood
came his wood, dog,
woman, lost her, daughter—
prologue
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This Room by John Ashbery
John Ashbery
The room I entered was a dream of this room.
Surely all those feet on the sofa were mine.
The oval portrait
of a dog was me at an early age.
Something shimmers, something is hushed up.

We had macaroni for lunch every day
except Sunday, when a small quail was induced
to be served to us. Why do I tell you these things?
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38
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A Dog Has Died by Pablo Neruda
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
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Affairs by Cesare Pavese
Cesare Pavese
Dawn on the black hill, and up on the roof
cats drowsing. Last night, there was a boy
who fell off this roof, breaking his back.
The wind riffles the cool leaves of the trees.
The red clouds above are warm and move slowly.
A stray dog appears in the alley below, sniffing
the boy on the cobblestones, and a raw wail
rises up among chimneys: someone’s unhappy.
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The Animal Store by Rachel Field
Rachel Field
If I had a hundred dollars to spend,
Or maybe a little more,
I’d hurry as fast as my legs would go
Straight to the animal store.

I wouldn’t say, “How much for this or that?”
“What kind of a dog is he?”
I’d buy as many as rolled an eye,
Or wagged a tail at me!
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The Dolls by John Ciardi
John Ciardi
Night after night forever the dolls lay stiff
by the children’s dreams. On the goose-feathers of the rich,
on the straw of the poor, on the gypsy ground—
wherever the children slept, dolls have been found
in the subsoil of the small loves stirred again
by the Finders After Everything. Down lay
the children by their hanks and twists. Night after night
grew over imagination. The fuzzies shed, the bright
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Empire of Dreams by Charles Simic
Charles Simic
On the first page of my dreambook
It’s always evening
In an occupied country.
Hour before the curfew.
A small provincial city.
The houses all dark.
The storefronts gutted.

I am on a street corner
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I Will Not Save the World by Jerome Rothenberg
Jerome Rothenberg
I like to cross
these borders. They take place
between the dead & dead.
I make my mind up
to be honest
only I fail to meet
their expectations.
I will not save the world.
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Napoleon by Miroslav Holub
Miroslav Holub
Children, when was
Napoleon Bonaparte born,
asks teacher.

A thousand years ago, the children say.
A hundred years ago, the children say.
Last year, the children say.
No one knows.

Children, what did
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Next Day by Randall Jarrell
Randall Jarrell
Moving from Cheer to Joy, from Joy to All,
I take a box
And add it to my wild rice, my Cornish game hens.
The slacked or shorted, basketed, identical
Food-gathering flocks
Are selves I overlook. Wisdom, said William James,

Is learning what to overlook. And I am wise
If that is wisdom.
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The Old Man Drew the Line by Carl Rakosi
Carl Rakosi
The old man
drew the line
for his son,
the executive:
“I don’t want you spending money on me!
(not as long as there are fathers)”,
the line ageless
as the independence of time.
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OVERNIGHT GUEST by Ruth Stone
Ruth Stone
Waiting for your ride in front of the house
where you spent the night,
where, as a third ear
during their endless intimate,
important, and kinky phone calls,
you pretended to rinse glassware;
you were a dog from the pound,
grateful, sniffing the upholstery.
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The Paradox of Jerome’s Lion by Christopher Middleton
Christopher Middleton
Local his discourse, not yet exemplary,
Nowadays he is old, the translator,
So old he is practically transparent.

Good things and otherwise, evils done
Come home to him, too close to the bone
And so little transformed,
Him so transparent,
They float in and out of his window.
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A Poem That Starts Out Wrong by Landis Everson
Landis Everson
Put nothing down to distress the reader.
No barking dog.
No rustle in the place whispers belong
or photos of petals near collapse.
Erase oranges of confusing taste, a face
wrinkled or in pain,
a map with waterless rivers or water
without a bend,
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Question by May Swenson
May Swenson
Body my house
my horse my hound
what will I do
when you are fallen

Where will I sleep
How will I ride
What will I hunt

Where can I go
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Robinson by Weldon Kees
Weldon Kees
The dog stops barking after Robinson has gone.
His act is over. The world is a gray world,
Not without violence, and he kicks under the grand piano,
The nightmare chase well under way.

The mirror from Mexico, stuck to the wall,
Reflects nothing at all. The glass is black.
Robinson alone provides the image Robinsonian.

Which is all of the room—walls, curtains,
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Time to Kill by Carl Rakosi
Carl Rakosi
a man and his dog

what fun
chasing twigs
into the water!

young girls bicycle by
in pairs and plaid shorts

a wind so soft
one’s whole
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Under the Poplars by César Vallejo
César Vallejo
for José Eulogio Garrido Like priestly imprisoned poets,
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The Victor Dog by James Merrill
James Merrill
for Elizabeth Bishop Bix to Buxtehude to Boulez.
The little white dog on the Victor label
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bon bon il est un pays by Samuel Beckett
Samuel Beckett
all right all right there’s a land
where forgetting where forgetting weighs
gently upon worlds unnamed
there the head we shush it the head is mute
and one knows no but one knows nothing
the song of dead mouths dies
on the shore it has made its voyage
there is nothing to mourn
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Song of the Little Cripple at the Street Corner by Rainer Maria Rilke
Rainer Maria Rilke
Maybe my soul’s all right.
But my body’s all wrong,
All bent and twisted,
All this that hurts me so.

My soul keeps trying, trying
To straighten my body up.
It hangs on my skeleton, frantic,
Flapping its terrified wings.
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An Ode to Ben Jonson by Robert Herrick
Robert Herrick
Ah Ben!
Say how, or when
Shall we thy guests
Meet at those lyric feasts
Made at the Sun,
The Dog, the Triple Tun?
Where we such clusters had
As made us nobly wild, not mad;
And yet each verse of thine
Outdid the meat, outdid the frolic wine.

My Ben
Or come again,
Or send to us
Thy wit's great overplus;
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Benjamin Pantier by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
Together in this grave lie Benjamin Pantier, attorney at law,
And Nig, his dog, constant companion, solace and friend.
Down the gray road, friends, children, men and women,
Passing one by one out of life, left me till I was alone
With Nig for partner, bed-fellow, comrade in drink.
In the morning of life I knew aspiration and saw glory.
Then she, who survives me, snared my soul
With a snare which bled me to death,
Till I, once strong of will, lay broken, indifferent,
Living with Nig in a room back of a dingy office.
Under my jaw-bone is snuggled the bony nose of Nig —
Our story is lost in silence. Go by, mad world!

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Burning by Galway Kinnell
Galway Kinnell
He lives, who last night flopped from a log
Into the creek, and all night by an ankle
Lay pinned to the flood, dead as a nail
But for the skin of the teeth of his dog.

I brought him boiled eggs and broth.
He coughed and waved his spoon
And sat up saying he would dine alone,
Being fatigue itself after that bath.
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Childhood’s Retreat by Robert Duncan
Robert Duncan
It’s in the perilous boughs of the tree
out of blue sky the wind
sings loudest surrounding me.

And solitude, a wild solitude
’s reveald, fearfully, high I’d climb
into the shaking uncertainties,

part out of longing, part daring my self,
part to see that
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Dogs Are Shakespearean, Children Are Strangers by Delmore Schwartz
Delmore Schwartz
Dogs are Shakespearean, children are strangers.
Let Freud and Wordsworth discuss the child,
Angels and Platonists shall judge the dog,
The running dog, who paused, distending nostrils,
Then barked and wailed; the boy who pinched his sister,
The little girl who sang the song from Twelfth Night,
As if she understood the wind and rain,
The dog who moaned, hearing the violins in concert.
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In the Museum at Teheran by James Laughlin
James Laughlin
a sentimental curator has placed
two fragments of bronze Grecian
heads together boy

and girl so that the faces black-
ened by the three thousand years of
desert sand & sun

seem to be whispering something
that the Gurgan lion & the wing-
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Koheleth by Louis Untermeyer
Louis Untermeyer
I waited and worked
To win myself leisure,
Till loneliness irked
And I turned to raw pleasure.

I drank and I gamed,
I feasted and wasted,
Till, sick and ashamed,
The food stood untasted.
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Mrs. Benjamin Pantier by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
I know that he told that I snared his soul
With a snare which bled him to death.
And all the men loved him,
And most of the women pitied him.
But suppose you are really a lady, and have delicate tastes,
And loathe the smell of whiskey and onions.
And the rhythm of Wordsworth's "Ode" runs in your ears,
While he goes about from morning till night
Repeating bits of that common thing;
"Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?"
And then, suppose:
You are a woman well endowed,
And the only man with whom the law and morality
Permit you to have the marital relation
Is the very man that fills you with disgust
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Never to Dream of Spiders by Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde
Time collapses between the lips of strangers
my days collapse into a hollow tube
soon implodes against now
like an iron wall
my eyes are blocked with rubble
a smear of perspectives
blurring each horizon
in the breathless precision of silence
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The Safecracker by Linda Pastan
Linda Pastan
On nights when the moon seems impenetrable—
a locked porthole to space;
when the householder bars his windows
and doors, and his dog lies until dawn,
one jeweled eye open; when the maiden sleeps
with her rosy knees sealed tightly together,
on such nights the safecracker sets to work.
Axe . . . Chisel . . . Nitroglycerin . . .
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Song of the Witches: “Double, double toil and trouble” by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
(fromMacbeth) Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
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To Flush, My Dog by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
LOVING friend, the gift of one,
Who, her own true faith, hath run,
Through thy lower nature ;
Be my benediction said
With my hand upon thy head,
Gentle fellow-creature !

Like a lady's ringlets brown,
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Walking on Tiptoe by Ted Kooser
Ted Kooser
Long ago we quit lifting our heels
like the others—horse, dog, and tiger—
though we thrill to their speed
as they flee. Even the mouse
bearing the great weight of a nugget
of dog food is enviably graceful.
There is little spring to our walk,
we are so burdened with responsibility,
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Bedtime Story by Charles Wright
Charles Wright
The generator hums like a distant ding an sich.
It's early evening, and time, like the dog it is,
is hungry for food,
And will be fed, don't doubt it, will be fed, my small one.
The forest begins to gather its silences in.
The meadow regroups and hunkers down
for its cleft feet.

Something is wringing the rag of sunlight
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Dog Music by Paul Zimmer
Paul Zimmer
Amongst dogs are listeners and singers.
My big dog sang with me so purely,
puckering her ruffled lips into an O,
beginning with small, swallowing sounds
like Coltrane musing, then rising to power
and resonance, gulping air to continue—
her passion and sense of flawless form—
singing not with me, but for the art of dogs.
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