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Dog Songs

Dog Songs

by Mary Oliver


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“The popularity of [Dog Songs] feels as inevitable and welcome as a wagging tail upon homecoming.” —The Boston Globe
Mary Oliver’s Dog Songs is a celebration of the special bond between human and dog, as understood through the poet’s relationships to the canines that have accompanied her daily walks, warmed her home, and inspired her work. Oliver’s poems begin in the small everyday moments familiar to all dog lovers, but through her extraordinary vision, these observations become higher meditations on the world and our place in it.

Dog Songs includes visits with old friends, like Oliver’s beloved Percy, and introduces still others in poems of love and laughter, heartbreak and grief. Throughout, the many dogs of Oliver’s life merge as fellow travelers and as guides, uniquely able to open our eyes to the lessons of the moment and the joys of nature and connection. 

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143125839
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/29/2015
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 21,845
Product dimensions: 7.60(w) x 5.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Born in a small town in Ohio, Mary Oliver published her first book of poetry in 1963 at the age of 28. Over the course of her long career, she has received numerous awards. Her fourth book, American Primitive, won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1984. She has led workshops and held residencies at various colleges and universities, including Bennington College, where she held the Catharine Osgood Foster Chair for Distinguished Teaching.

Read an Excerpt


The first time Percy came back he was not sailing on a cloud.
those white curls—
of my coming back and they won’t be false, and they won’t be true,

Excerpted from "Dog Songs"
by .
Copyright © 2013 Mary Oliver.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

How It Begins 1

How It Is with Us, and How It Is with Them 3

If You Are Holding This Book 5

Every Dog's Story 7

The Storm (Bear) 9

Conversations 11

Luke's Junkyard Song 15

Luke 19

Her Grave 23

Benjamin, Who Came from Who Knows Where 31

The Dog Has Run Off Again 33

Holding On to Benjamin 35

The Poetry Teacher 39

Bazougcy 41

Ropes 43

Percy 47

School 49

Little Dog's Rhapsody in the Night 51

Time Passes 53

Untitled 55

Percy Wakes Me 57

The Sweetness of Dogs 61

Percy Speaks While I Am Doing Taxes 63

Percy, Waiting for Ricky 65

Percy (2002-2009) 67

For I Will Consider My Dog Percy 69

The First Time Percy Came Back 77

Ricky Talks About Talking 79

The Wicked Smile 83

The Traveler 87

Show Time 89

A Bad Day 93

Henry 95

How a Lot of Us Become Friends 101

You Never Know Where a Conversation Is Going to Go 103

Dog Talk 107

Note 123

Credits 125

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

The New York Times
Dog a sweet golden retriever of a book that curls up with the reader.”

Customer Reviews