Little Dog Learns about Yeats

Little Dog Learns About Yeats

Little Dog, who lay by her feet
on a winter’s eve, never claimed to know
from poetry, but he did know what he liked, and the one
about clay and waffles made
was for sure his favorite. Nothing
could be better than waffles.

Of course, there was also the one about the silver trout on the floor–
when he first heard that one, he hung about the kitchen door
all day, but no trout showed up–
and when she next read it, he realized
that there was something very fishy
about that trout—

Just now she was intoning–that’s how he could tell
it was poetry–about the second come-in and this one seemed really odd,
because if either trout or waffles were at issue he’d come in
first call–

Only–he listened –if there was some rough beast slouching about,
he might just stay away–he really didn’t have much truck
with rough beasts–only–

and now, he shifted the paw that was getting nearly grilled
by the crinkling fireplace–if the air filled–no, if the air were merely tinged–
with the scent of her fear, why, the world would hear him there
in an instant and it would not be poetry that he’d snarl either
(except for maybe that bit about the blood-dimmed tide)–

He licked his paw as he imagined it, curls
ruffling with pride, and how,
after he’d saved her,
they would arise and go, her hugging him and scratching
behind the ear, to the kitchen where his water bowl
would be lapping in the excitement of it all,
and where too there would be clay and waffles made–

And she could have all the clay she wanted, he thought warmly,
as she intoned on.


The above was written for Fireblossom’s prompt on With Real Toads to write a poem nesting a poem within its story.  I’ve been too beset by other work to write much but thinking of how my dog Pearl feels about poetry I couldn’t resist this.  Pearl is a girl dog and the book she is reading above is mine — “Going on Somewhere”–Pearl is nothing if not loyal.

The poems cited are The Lake Isle of Innisfree, The Song of the Wandering Aengus, and The Second Coming.

Pearl is getting old (18) and blind so she needs now to be read to.  Here is a more recent picture.   


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32 Comments on “Little Dog Learns about Yeats”

  1. hedgewitch Says:

    You’ve managed to speak humorously and yet so deeply at the same time, that the smile is a sad one, as dogs are their own poetry that should never have to have a final line. the sense of all they give us is strong here. (Pearl looks like a very dignified old soul, comfy, and sleepy and happy with the life she’s lived–that’s another great gift of dogs.) And while this may be a poem nesting some lovely Yeats inside, in the end the remembered thing is the Little Dog, who is so generous with clay, and so happy living in hope of the waffles in life.

  2. coalblack Says:

    Pearl is completely adorable, not to mention literary, loyal and lion-hearted! Waffles all around!

    Pssst–your link at Toads is to your book page, not to this poem.

  3. brian miller Says:

    ha. cute vid…love the look to the camera there in the end…ha i agree that waffles are best…esp better than pancakes as well….just made some at the hotel breakfast this morning…your verse made me smile….

  4. Maggie Grace Says:

    Such sweetness in your photo and your poetry!

  5. Super cute snippet!! Enjoyed where your point of view went for this one…fun!

  6. A delightful dog who loves poetry…what a wonderful creative piece. I so needed to smile…

  7. I enjoyed every line, and loved to see how the little dog interpreted Yeats his own way.. Isn’t that what poetry is all about?

  8. Mama Zen Says:

    This is so creative and original!

    “Just now she was intoning–that’s how he could tell
    it was poetry”

    That cracked me up.

  9. janehewey Says:

    I’m sorry my comment didn’t post last night… I’ve been have some computer frustrations. anyway,
    I find your subtle weave entirely believable. The two characters do not fuss over each other, their connection is simple and clear. much like real love, I think. Your last two lines sum it up beautifully. Your use of the verb “intone” is entirely effective when it comes to your characters. I enjoy the almost day dream of Little Dog snarling at the blood-dimmed tide. wonderful work, k. and enjoyable poem.

  10. This was a great read humor and real feeling! great mix.

  11. A beautiful and touching poem – and I love the photo of Pearl – how well he suits his name – lovely touches in this one k

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks. Pearl is a “she” actually, but I thought too confusing for poem. But she does really suit her name. I so appreciate your kind words and visits, Polly. K.

  12. I can’t help but love anything you post when Pearl is featured. My two little white dogs sit at my feet when I write poetry (sometimes on my lap) but I hadn’t thought about reading it to them. Of course, the JRT is totally deaf, but maybe if it were illustrated with food photos. I totally enjoyed this. Cuddle Pearl for me. It’s so hard as they age. 18 years, wow. Our oldest was 16.

  13. Lindy Lee Says:

    Pearl is a pearl of a girl with thick, white curls. Knew a cat once who was hung up on Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” & “Moonlight Sonata” as played by Vladimir Horowitz…

  14. Lindy Lee Says:

    By the way, “Little Dog Learns about Yeats” is a perfectly thoughtful & well expressed poem, just like this follower likes poetry by you…

  15. Sherry Marr Says:

    Such a sweet poem and – eighteen years – how remarkable. She is a sweetheart and I so know how you dread the parting coming up ahead.

  16. Oh this was just lovely. I love me some Yeats, and some puppy love.

  17. How to resist the pup. And the poetry.

  18. she’s adorable and has discovered pearls of great price in her reading choice ~ wonderful writing !

  19. The glasses, the glasses, where are the glasses? A dog reading poetry with no glasses on? 🙂 Seriously, that was a beautiful poem for a beautiful dog

    Greetings from London.

  20. claudia Says:

    oh k. – this is so charming… love the whole storytelling and warmth in this… she’s a lovely dog – i’m proud to have met her in person…smiles

  21. Jamie Dedes Says:

    Inventive and charming … and what a sweet little Pearl.

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