Unleashed: Poems by Writers' Dogs


Now in paperback, an irresistible gift for dog lovers: poems from the dogs' point of view, written by the well known writers and poets who love them.

List of contributors:
Edward Albee,  Jennifer Allen,  Danny Anderson,  Lynda Barry,  Rick Bass,  Charles Baxter,  Robert Benson,  Roy Blount, Jr., Ron Carlson,  Jill Ciment,  Bernard ...

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Unleashed: Poems by Writers' Dogs

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Now in paperback, an irresistible gift for dog lovers: poems from the dogs' point of view, written by the well known writers and poets who love them.

List of contributors:
Edward Albee,  Jennifer Allen,  Danny Anderson,  Lynda Barry,  Rick Bass,  Charles Baxter,  Robert Benson,  Roy Blount, Jr., Ron Carlson,  Jill Ciment,  Bernard Cooper,  Stephen Dobyns,   Mark Doty,   Stephen Dunn,   Anderson Ferrell,  Amy Gerstler, Matthew Graham,   Ron Hansen,   Brooks Haxton,   Cynthia Heimel,   Amy Hempel,   Noy Hollan,   Andrew Hudgins,   John Irving, Denis Johnson,  R.S. Jones,   Walter Kirn,  Sheila Kohler,   Maxine Kumin,  Natalie Kusz,  Anne Lamott,   Gordon Lish,  Ralph Lombreglia, Merrill Markoe,  Pearson Marx,  Erin McGraw,  Heather McHugh,   Arthur Miller,  George Minot,  Susan Minot,   Honor Moore, Mary Morris,  Alicia Muñoz,  Elise Paschen,  Padgett Powell,  Wyatt Prunty,  Lawrence Raab,  Mark Richard,   John Rybicki, Jeanne Schinto,  Bob Shacochis,  Jim Shepard,   Karen Shepard,  Lee Smith,  Ben Sonnenberg,  Kate Clark Spencer,  Gerald Stern,
Terese Svoboda,  William Tester,  Abigail Thomas,  Lily Tuck,  Sidney Wade,  Kathryn Walker,  William Wegman

Dog lovers and other discriminating readers won't be able to resist this warm and winning collection of poems, written from the dog's point of view, by the celebrated writers and poets whose love of woofs and words has inspired a wonderful book. Photos.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609803790
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 4.99 (w) x 7.99 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Read an Excerpt

This project began, as so many literary ventures do, on a drunken New Year's fishing trip down in the Florida Keys. Bob Shacochis, Mark Richard, and Bob's dog, Frank, were ringing in the New Year around a campfire when Frank, an Irish Setter, was moved to verse. The poem, according to Bob, was titled "Wind," and follows in its entirety:

Leaves--I thought they were birds.

This was followed, according to Mark, by an ambitious sequel,
Tangled cassette tapes behind Tower Records,
I thought it was rats--
it was rats!

One thing we were sure of: part of our happiness derived from pleasing them--the dogs we know, and, it occurred to us, the dogs we didn't know.

So we decided to give to a range of animal welfare agencies every last cent we make on this book.

Actually, we're devoting only half. But still--half!

Think of it as our benefit for the boneless.

So we're not Michael Rosen! What have you done for animals lately?

We have done what vocational guidance counselors recom-mend: find a thing you do anyway, and find a way to make it pay. And for us the surprise was no surprise at all--page after page of love poems.

Jim Shepard
Love Song of Audrey

The door, friends, will not
Open. My kidneys urge
The tedious quotidian.
I have measured out my life
With quiet whines.

I grow old-- I growold--
In endless dogs' manure I'll have rolled.

No! I am not Ch. Dandie Dinsmore,
Nor was meant to be;
Just a beta dog, one that will do
To swell a pack, start a fight or two
Advise the alpha, deferential,
Glad to be of use,
A rear-sniffer, meticulous,
Politic, cautious, a bit obtuse.

Shall I drink from the toilet? Do I dare steal from the plate?
I shall sleep upon their bed, on those nights they return late.
I shall steal away his slipper, then steal away its mate.

Stephen Dunn
Buster's Visitation

I'm a dead dog for real now;
no longer can I rise from my fakery, alert to commands
I'd come to think of as love,
though I never did obey as well as Sundown did or as a truly good dog would.
To play the slave, not be one,
was my code. You understood,
who would play the master.
From my grave in the yard I see now you had no gift for it, or heart.
Bad dog, you'd say,
so little conviction in your voice.
In seconds you'd be patting my head.
Forgiveness made you happy; I'd tip over the garbage to he forgiven by you.
Let me tell you it's no life being dead. I'd give anything to chase the gulls again.
But clarities come when the body goes.
For whatever it's worth you should know--you who think so much--
only what's been smelled or felt gets remembered.
And in the dark earth no doors open,
no one ever comes home.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 11
Mommy 18
Love Song of Audrey 20
Sniff 22
Complacencies of the Fenced Yard 24
Rain 25
Ballad of Winky 26
Dog Kibble: A Villanelle 28
Birch 30
Max Who Caught a Car 32
Do Not Let Skeezix Go in There: Winslow's Villanelle 34
Harold's Bowl and Food 35
Untitled 36
Nietzsche Possessed 38
Dog Sonnet 39
Katie's Words 40
Down 42
A Country Dog in the City 44
A War Poem 45
Retired Greyhound, I 49
Alice 50
Full Neurological Work-up 52
Sally 54
Lewis Describes His Day 56
Y'All Are Bird Dogs, Aren't You? 58
Lola's Lament 60
Cosmo Dog 62
Hugs 64
Sam's Ghazals 66
Lab Lines 68
Daisy, Five, Speaks to Sophia, Two 71
Doggerel 74
Stalker 76
Glom: Labrador, 110 Pounds 78
In the Heat of the Night 80
Missing: A Dog's Doggerel 82
Buddy 84
Domi Solus 86
Drunk Dog 88
I love my master I love my master 90
Rosie 95
A Toast to the Cook 97
Retired Greyhound, II 100
Shelter 102
Runaway 106
Rusty 109
The Odyssey 111
Shepherd 132
Spoon River Sadie Louise 133
Flea's Hymn 138
How to Like It 140
My Shepherd 143
Max's Lecture on Canine Buddhism 145
The Dogman 146
Greta's Song 148
Beau: Golden Retrievals 150
Pet Names 152
Envoy 154
Devotion 155
Hunting Accident 156
Gus Speaks 157
Coach 160
Samantha 162
When I Died on My Birthday 164
Out 166
The Dog 168
Buster's Visitation 170
Stay 172
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