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    1. #1
      Senior Dog
      Abulafia's Avatar
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      Another Book Recommendation

      This is not Lab specific, but—

      Dog Songs
      by Mary Oliver is an absolutely fantastic and heartrending book of poetry.

      I often work (when I am not at school) at a small local bookstore / cafe place just up the street. They have a proper restaurant, and a patio that is welcome to dogs and open in the warmer months, and a nice cozy pub downstairs: but they also have a small cafe area in the bookstore proper, and they are fine with you coming in, grabbing a cup of coffee or tea, and camping out to work or read for a few hours. I was there a week or so ago, and perused the shelves before staking my place. I picked up this book, read a few page, and started sobbing. Hours later, after I was done working, I went back up front and bought it. This was the poem that did me in:

      Her Grave

      She would come back, dripping thick water, from the green bog.
      She would fall at my feet, she would draw the black skin
      from her gums, in a hideous and wonderful smile-----
      and I would rub my hands over her pricked ears and her
      cunning elbows,
      and I would hug the barrel of her body, amazed at the unassuming
      perfect arch of her neck.


      It took four of us to carry her into the woods.
      We did not think of music,
      but, anyway, it began to rain
      slowly.


      Her wolfish, invitational, half-pounce.


      Her great and lordly satisfaction at having chased something.


      My great and lordly satisfaction at her splash
      of happiness as she barged
      through the pitch pines swiping my face with her
      wild, slightly mossy tongue.


      Does the hummingbird think he himself invented his crimson throat?
      He is wiser than that, I think.


      A dog lives fifteen years, if you're lucky.


      Do the cranes crying out in the high clouds
      think it is all their own music?


      A dog comes to you and lives with you in your own house, but you
      do not therefore own her, as you do not own the rain, or the
      trees, or the laws which pertain to them.


      Does the bear wandering in the autumn up the side of the hill
      think all by herself she has imagined the refuge and the refreshment
      of her long slumber?


      A dog can never tell you what she knows from the
      smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know
      almost nothing.


      Does the water snake with his backbone of diamonds think
      the black tunnel on the bank of the pond is a palace
      of his own making?


      She roved ahead of me through the fields, yet would come back, or
      wait for me, or be somewhere.


      Now she is buried under the pines.


      Nor will I argue it, or pray for anything but modesty, and
      not to be angry.


      Through the trees is the sound of the wind, palavering


      The smell of the pine needles, what is it but a taste
      of the infallible energies?


      How strong was her dark body!

      How apt is her grave place.


      How beautiful is her unshakable sleep.


      Finally,
      the slick mountains of love break
      over us.

      Hidden Content Hokule'a ("Hoku") / b. 06.08.15

    2. The Following User Says Thank You to Abulafia For This Useful Post:

      kimbersmom (01-02-2016)

    3. #2
      Senior Dog
      Snowshoe's Avatar
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      May 2014
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      Canada
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      Mary Oliver is the author? They are all her poems?

      That's wonderful. At this point in my pets I don't find it sad, no one's departure from my earthly life is recent. I like the idea of the final resting place being one significant to both pet and owner. Ours are all in our backyard. But that's just their bodies. Their spirits and memories are in our hearts.

    4. #3
      Senior Dog
      Abulafia's Avatar
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      Sep 2015
      Location
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      Yes, all by her. A short book. Far from all are about death (this one just touched me)—just lovely poems about dogs from someone who lived her life with them.

      Dog Songs: Mary Oliver: 9781594204784: Amazon.com: Books

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