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Forums > > Poetry Workshops > > Post a Poem > > Lost Dog
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Lost Dog


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Ozymandias
Told love the world was on fire


Told love the world was on fire
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Location: Near Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15 1:52:57 EST 2012    Post subject: Lost Dog Reply with quote

MISSING
Black and tan mongrel
2 years old
Last seen in the park beside the river
on Christmas Day
Very affectionate
Answers to the name of Rover
If seen please phone XXXX XXXX
REWARD

a fading scrap of paper
the words bleached by the sun
and blurred by the rain -

but Rover, my mind sees you now,
exuberantly chasing sticks and unfortunate birds,
swimming and splashing through the river where you are not supposed to be,
cocking your leg against a sedate eucalyptus,
jumping on your owner's Sunday Best with muddy paws,
and infringing his dignity with wet nose and slobbering pink tongue -

and envy grabs me by the short and curlies.
Listen, Rover.... stop running around for a bit...
Sit!
Think, so far as you caninely can, about this:
I do not make a fool of myself chasing sticks and birds;
I am a respectable citizen who does not go dog-paddling in rivers where swimming is prohibited;
I do not urinate over protected species;
I do not jump all over my betters with muddy paws;
On the rare occasions when my nose is wet and my tongue is slobbering, I keep them privately to myself.
Yet let's suppose I were lost.
Do you imagine anybody would post a notice in hopes of my return?
Do you imagine anybody would offer a reward for me?
Well, perhaps if I were to morph my soul and act in the way you do...
Then, indeed, I can imagine a public notice:

WANTED
Man seen acting strangely
in the park beside the river.
Has frightened many children and their parents.
This man should not be approached.
Anyone with information should phone the police.
REWARD

This is not quite what I had in mind.

Rover, I wish I could find you.
Not to claim the reward,
but to change places.
I reach out across untravelled miles
for your muddy paws
that I wish to grasp in friendship.
Rover, friend of all the world,
will you be my friend also?

In this park beside the river,
in our uncertainty
may we be well and happy.

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- Mark Twain
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electrictiger
Told love the world was on fire


Told love the world was on fire
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Joined: Sep 18, 2009
Posts: 2291
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Location: Birmingham, Alabama

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15 2:51:38 EST 2012    Post subject: Re: Lost Dog Reply with quote

This is interestingly both tragic and funny. I enjoyed the hell out of it,
actually.

I am inclined to think you could omit

[a fading scrap of paper
the words bleached by the sun
and blurred by the rain -]

since the way you've set the 'reward' poster aside, and done such
a good job with it we know what it is anyhow, that you don't really
need that. The two parallels are interesting. As an aside, as a reader
from a different continent, I actually found the descriptions of the
eucalyptus and so forth very engaging. That's not really relevant
but it somehow drew me more deeply into the narrative)

The closing lines are perfectly bittersweet, and thoroughly engaging.
I like the slightly unusual structure of the poem. I believe it works for you
well here.

[EDIT] : I also don't feel keeping those three lines hurts anything either -

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Last edited by electrictiger on Sun Jan 15 8:51:30 EST 2012; edited 1 time in total
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deepali
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Location: valley of flowers

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15 4:37:09 EST 2012    Post subject: Re: Lost Dog Reply with quote

Tiger has said it all, so beautifully...I feel the same.

Just that i wouldn't like to omit anything...no change, at all.

Oh...i wish i was Rover, too!!

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‎“Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” —T. S. Eliot
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Ozymandias
Told love the world was on fire


Told love the world was on fire
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Location: Near Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16 3:41:43 EST 2012    Post subject: Re: Lost Dog Reply with quote

electrictiger wrote:
This is interestingly both tragic and funny. I enjoyed the hell out of it,
actually.

I am inclined to think you could omit

[a fading scrap of paper
the words bleached by the sun
and blurred by the rain -]

since the way you've set the 'reward' poster aside, and done such
a good job with it we know what it is anyhow, that you don't really
need that. The two parallels are interesting. As an aside, as a reader
from a different continent, I actually found the descriptions of the
eucalyptus and so forth very engaging. That's not really relevant
but it somehow drew me more deeply into the narrative)

The closing lines are perfectly bittersweet, and thoroughly engaging.
I like the slightly unusual structure of the poem. I believe it works for you
well here.

[EDIT] : I also don't feel keeping those three lines hurts anything either -

Thanks Tige. I was inspired to write this on Saturday when I went for a walk beside our local river and did indeed see a faced notice about a missing dog nailed to a post. Started me thinking.

Those 3 lines - I think I see what you mean (although I'm not entirely sure), but I put them in just to add a touch of pathos by suggesting that the poster was put up some time ago and now the dog will probably never be found. This helps to bring out the contrast with the dog's exuberance in what immediately follows.

The reference to eucalyptus trees is strictly not significant, just that it sets the scene to some extent and adds a bit of local colour.

Thanks for your helpful comments.

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- Mark Twain
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Ozymandias
Told love the world was on fire


Told love the world was on fire
Staff Picks/June 2009Staff Picks - June 2009Staff Picks/May 2010Staff Picks/August 2010Staff Picks/September/ 2010Staff Picks/December 2010Judge - holiday poetry contestStaff Picks/January 2011Staff Picks/March 2011gotpoetry curator


Joined: Apr 09, 2009
Posts: 2442
Credits: 233
Location: Near Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16 3:43:38 EST 2012    Post subject: Re: Lost Dog Reply with quote

deepali wrote:
Tiger has said it all, so beautifully...I feel the same.

Just that i wouldn't like to omit anything...no change, at all.

Oh...i wish i was Rover, too!!

If you go missing from GP, I shall be sure to put up a WANTED poster for you, just like Rover's poster Wink

Thanks Deepali.

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electrictiger
Told love the world was on fire


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Joined: Sep 18, 2009
Posts: 2291
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Location: Birmingham, Alabama

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16 21:51:24 EST 2012    Post subject: Re: Lost Dog Reply with quote

Oh, I meant that my tangential comment about the eucalyptus was not relevant to the critique of the poem, rather than the eucalyptus tree was not relevant to the poem itself. The inclusion of the tree was one of my favorite parts, actually! electrictiger + 3 in the morning = confusion.

What I had meant to say about the three lines being extraneous to me was only this: the structure of the 'missing' poster the poem opens with is universally recognizable to anyone who's seen one - and it already has that pathos built into it. When I see the pictures of the kittens, the dogs, etc. posted, I always feel sad in seeing them, knowing as much as the owners do that probably their pet is dead or not coming back.

And finally, as D noted, I think the poem really is quite fine as it is.
Hopefully I make better sense when I'm wide awake!

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Ozymandias
Told love the world was on fire


Told love the world was on fire
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Joined: Apr 09, 2009
Posts: 2442
Credits: 233
Location: Near Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21 15:02:23 EST 2012    Post subject: Re: Lost Dog Reply with quote

Posting now.... thanks, everyone who commented.

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