This is one of those Talks that bring a smile to my face just by reading the link’s title. I know immediately that whatever is going to happen, it’ll most likely be something that is outside of the box of typical delivery. And how it howled.
Now the natural move after hearing poetry is to attempt poetry, so I’m going to digress from writing canine prose.
And is it me, or are these dogs just.. fucking depressing? If I had a dog, I’d be running towards it in tears and vowing to never let it go again. Unfortunately, I don’t have a dog so I’m simply left with the contemplation. (And Doge. Much Wow.)
I’ve met quite a few dogs in my day and they weren’t these stoic beasts of philosophical naval gazing which spend their time contemplating the remorse of mortality. These dogs were had trouble finding a piece of dropped chicken, especially if you were pointing at it.
Yet wouldn’t that be a thing, if dogs did think on these things? Why would a dog be so observant of their own innate nature?
If saying hello required sniffing butts, maybe I would be contemplating my death. Perspective IS everything.
Now its rather peculiar to see poems from the dog’s perspective, as poems are normally written in the vein of observation. My favorite ‘dog poem’ is written by Dorothy Parker. (Somewhere lost on the internet I wrote an incredibly long piece on her life and work. I’m certain I’ve mentioned her last year in one of these EdTalksTed entries but no time to confirm! On to finding a poem.)
As a quick aside, she wrote many poems about her dogs. I’m under the impression that Collins may also be a poet whose muse is of the four legged variety. I’m envious of this. I’ve seen inspiration walk up and punch an average person in the face and they turn into lost maniac who doesn’t know where to project their energy in a proper manner. Collins has revealed two poems both entertaining but also endearing enough to contemplate.
Those poor depressed doggies. Although nowadays I believe there are prescription drugs for dogs who are depressed.
(I’m not sure how this copy/paste is going to turn out but I’m on a schedule this evening)
“To My Dog”
By Dorothy Parker
I often wonder why on earth
You rate yourself so highly;
A shameless parasite, from birth
You’ve lived the life of Reilly.
No claims to fame distinguish you’
Your talents are not many;
You’re constantly unfaithful to
Your better self – if any.
Yet you believe, with faith profound,
The world revolves around you;
May I point out, it staggered ‘round
For centuries without you?
In beauty, you’re convinced you lead,
While others only follow.
You think you look like Wallace Reid,
Or, at the least, Apollo.
The fatal charms with which you’re blest,
You fancy, spell perfection;
The notion, may I not suggest,
Is open to correction?
An alien streak your tail betrays;
Your ears aren’t what they would be;
Your mother was – forgive the phrase –
No better than she should be.
One can but feel your gaiety
Is somewhat over-hearty;
You take it on yourself to be
The life of every party.
In bearing, while no doubt sincere,
You’re frankly too informal.
And mentally, I sometimes fear,
You’re slightly under normal.
The least attention turns your brain,
Repressions slip their tether;
Pray spare your friends the nervous strain
And pull yourself together!
You take no thought for others’ good
In all your daily dealings,
I ask you, as a mother would,
Where are your finer feelings?
I think I’ve seldom run across
A life so far from lawful;
Your manners are a total loss,
Your morals, something awful.
Perhaps you’ll ask, as many do,
What I endure your thrall for?
‘Twas ever thus – it’s such as you
That women always fall for.
Wow. On revisiting this poem it sure sounds like Parker could have used the some drugs of her own. (Just kidding, she found her own quite easily.) Her biting wit was also her trademark.
As for the doggie drugs, I wasn’t kidding.
For more reading, check out:
http://www.billy-collins.com/ (Just to make the comment, it has an old school appeal on this website. It reminds me of the internet’s younger days)
More Poetry and information on Dorothy Parker can be found on this interesting blogspot: http://ibdorothyparker.blogspot.ca/p/poetry.html
Poetry, someday I will understand you. For now, I’ll continue to appreciate (and write bad jokes).
Pet your dog and share,