Thursday, May 20, 2010

Poems Old and New

First a happy update on my entry from last Monday about the Lost Dog Café and its affiliated Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation (LDCRF): After posting the information I'd received, I had Mike e-mail the foundation's president to let her know that we were trying to spread the word about the Café and LDCRF's great work. Within hours another of the foundation's officers signed on as one of my "Followers." (Welcome--and thanks!) Wednesday night the post got a nice comment from "Sarah," who also works for LDCRF. She said that the Lost Dog Café, the Stray Cat Café, and the foundation all have Facebook pages. And she e-mailed Mike to tell him she had put my blog entry on the Lost Dog Café's Facebook fan page. All Wednesday night and continuing into today, there was a noticeable build-up in blog hits from Arlington and nearby cities, including Alexandria, Springfield, Falls Church, Herndon, and Washington DC. A number of these visitors came to the blog from the Café's Facebook site. Wow--talk about one paw washing the other!

Okay, now to today's main business: My friend who brought the Lost Dog Café-LDCRF combo to our attention is also my Chief Finder of Dog Poetry for the Mid-Atlantic Region. Today she supplies two more works for our enjoyment. Unlike that of my May 13th post, this first one is by a human--but clearly one who loved and understood dogs. The poet is Arthur Guiterman, an American who was born in Vienna and who lived from November, 1871, to January, 1943. He was a co-founder and later the president of the Poetry Society of America. (Thus spake Wikipedia!)

Little Lost Pup

He was lost!-not a shade of doubt of that;
For he never barked at a slinking cat,
But stood in the square where the wind blew raw
With a drooping ear and a trembling paw
And a mournful look in his pleading eye
And a plaintive sniff at the passer-by
That begged as plain as a tongue could sue,
"O Mister! please may I follow you?"

A lorn wee waif of a tawny brown
Adrift in the roar of a heedless town.
Oh, the saddest of sights in a world of sin
Is a little lost pup with his tail tucked in!
He won my heart, for I set great store,
on my own Red Beaut, who is here no more.
So I whistled clear, and he trotted up,
and who so glad, as that small lost pup.

Now he shares my board and he owns my bed,
And he fairly shouts when he hears my tread;
Then, if things go wrong, as they sometimes do,
and the world is cold, and I'm feeling blue
He asserts his right to assuage my woes
With a warm, red tongue and a nice, cold nose
And a silky head on my arm or knee
And a paw as soft as a paw can be.

When we rove the woods for a league about
He's as full of pranks as a school let out;
For he romps and frisks like a three months' colt,
And he runs me down like a thunderbolt.
Oh, the blithest of sights in the world so fair
Is a gay little pup with his tail in the air

Mike and Jeannie both said they thought of me when they read that, because it describes my situation (both before and after my adoption) so well. But they agreed that Mr. Guiterman goofed a little on the part where the narrator whistles and the dog trots up just like that, with no second thoughts. If you've read my first blog entry, you'll know that I had plenty of second thoughts, and because of this it took me a pretty long time to come trotting up! (We're talking weeks, baby!)

M told me that a reference in the poem that struck him was the one to "my own Red Beaut, who is here no more." M and J used to have an Irish setter named Penny. She died a long time ago, and the whole family was very sad when that happened. I'll try to find some pictures of Penny and do a blog about her sometime soon.

The second dog poem was probably made up by a human, too. I say probably because the author is unknown. I think that's kinda sad, cuz when you put a lot of effort into something as nice as this, even though it's short, you want folks to know it was you that did it.

A man may smile and bid you hail
Yet wish you to the devil;
But when a good dog wags his tail,
You know he's on the level.

Truer words were never spoken. (As you can imagine, my tail-wagging muscles have been getting a serious workout these past five weeks!)

As for my own poetic efforts, I think I'm making good progress. Here's one I wrote just this morning:

There once was a dog from Nantucket
Who gobbled his food by the bucket.
He often fell ill
From the copious swill
And then he would have to upchuck it.

After I had that first line written, Mike saw it and gave me this really weird look. I think maybe he doubted I could finish it--and for a while, so did I. But I finally succeeded, by golly!

Maybe I will think up some more.

Would you like that?


Jenny said...

Great poetry! And yes . . . That first one sounds like it could be your story. Awwww! Penny! Yes . . . Please ask M to put up some pictures of her. We have one of her in Dahlonega in front of the fireplace (circa 1978 or 1979), and she's participating in one of your favorite activities--chewing on a bone. We also have a good one of her shaking M's hand. (She was quite photogenic--Much like yourself. You might even say that she was a dish. But do keep in mind that you two are related.)

Anonymous said...

Hey Buddy !

I knew you could be poetic if you put your mind to it! Keep up the creative efforts. When I have lunch at TLDC tomorrow, I'll check out the possibility of having your work posted on the bulletin board.

Mid-Atlantic CFDP

Grace said...

Nice work, Buddy! You're a canine of rare talents; and, yes, I would welcome more of your works, especially if you put them in rhyme.

Love, Grandma