Poetry topic idea: the death of a pet

Today’s poetry topic idea is the death of a pet.  After M. Sakran’s dog Shadow died, there was a commemoration on this blog.

When a pet dies, writing poetry about it can sometimes help.  It can be a way to deal with emotions and express things.  It can give a person something to do related to the death that feels like active mourning.

When a poet writes about the death of a pet, there are number of things they can write about.  A poet can write about:

  • The sadness they feel.
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  • How the pet died.
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  • Memories of the pet.
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  • What the pet was like when it was alive.
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  • What their life is like now that the pet is gone.
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  • How they mourn for the pet.
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  • How other people perceive their mourning for the pet.
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  • How they feel more generally after the death of the pet.
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  • How they are memorializing the pet.

Here is an example poem:

Shadow,
the calculator says,
it’s been three years,
six months,
two weeks,
and three days since you died.

Somehow,
it doesn’t feel like that long.
It feels like it was a month ago.

Your photo,
is still on the computer.

The little resin dog,
painted to look like you,
is there on the shelf.

Outside,
your friend is squeaking now.
He probably wants a treat.
Hold on just a minute.

Alright,
he got some treats.

Somehow,
although you are thought of,
it isn’t enough.

It seems,
like something more should be done,
like somehow,
it affects you.

At least,
there is this.

This is something.

You are missed,
you funny little dog.

Shadow: three year anniversary

Shadow

Today is the three year anniversary of the death of M. Sakran’s dog Shadow.  Shadow was a good dog.  He was very cute and playful and was smart.  There was a commemoration on this blog after he died.

To mark the anniversary, here is a poem:

three years
is a long time
but in some way
it doesn’t feel that long ago

there’s a list of memories
that could fill too much here
but some things sadly
have faded away

your photograph
is there each day
but what did you sound like
when you barked?

your friend misses you
your friends miss you
you were a good dog
a very good dog

sometimes
the backyard still feels empty

thanks for being here Shadow

 

Artwork to inspire poetry: faded iris

faded iris

Above is an artwork of a faded iris.  It can inspire poetry.  A poet could be inspired to write about:

  • Life fading. The iris is fading and a poet could relate this to a person who is dying.
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  • Rebirth. After the flower fades, there will be seeds (although an iris might more normally be grown from bulbs).  These seeds could be new plants.  This idea could be translated to rebirth and applied to other situations.
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  • Time. A flower fading shows the progression of time.  A poet could apply this idea to other things.  An example might be a building that deteriorates over time.
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  • Tired. A flower fading could be related to the idea of being tired or spent.  A poet could apply this idea to other situations.
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  • Losing vision. An iris, in addition to being a flower, is also a word that describes a part of the eye.  A poet could write about someone losing their vision.

Here is a poem inspired by the artwork:

her breathing slowed

Experimental Poetry Form: letter

Today’s experimental poetry form is called letter.  It based off of layout on the page.  The form is arranged like the elements on the front of a letter.

On the front of a letter there are three elements: the return address, the sending address, and the stamp.  They are laid out as follows:

*****                                                                               *****
*****                                                                               *****
*****                                                                               *****

 

                                                  *****
                                                  *****
                                                  *****

 

 

The return address is in the upper left corner, the sending address is in the center, and the stamp is in the upper right corner.

The return address and sending address elements both have three lines corresponding to: name, street address, and city and state.  The stamp element has three lines because of its size.

From the point of view of the person receiving the letter, the sending address is read first, the return address is read second, and the stamp is noticed third.

For the poetry form, there are three stanzas, each with three lines.  Each line has five syllables.  The first stanza is in the center, the second stanza is in the upper left, and the third stanza is in the upper right.

Here is an example poem illustrating the form.  Remember, the center stanza is read first, the upper left stanza second, and the upper right stanza third.

Alone in the house                                                         In a field of stones
everything feels still                                                       emptiness gathers
and time moves so slow.                                               to speak silently.

 

                                                  You’ve been gone so long
                                                  you’re now an image
                                                  a thought in the mind.

Poem Series: George: Memories of George

Hearing you flutter in your cage,
taking off the sheet,
and opening the door in the morning.

Bouncing about,
and flying to the bars.

Pecking at a finger,
as your water and food were changed.

Jumping on the door,
as it swung open.

Climbing up and down the bars.

Flying about,
to the window sill,
to the bookshelf,
to the shoulder.

Landing on people’s heads.

Tweeting,
and tweeting.

Flying back to your cage.

Peeling seeds,
pecking at the minerals.

Singing out,
when you heard noise.

Laying eggs.

Brooding over the eggs.

Flying from person to person.

Eating bread.

The daily tending of your cage.

The weekly tending of your cage.

Uncovering your cage in the morning.

Covering your cage at night.

Poem Series: George: George was a good bird

George was a good bird.

She used to fly to people’s heads,
and fly from one person to another.

She used to play with toys,
and make a bell ring.

She used to eat bread,
and fruit she was fed.

She used to fly about the house,
and land above the bookshelf.

She used tweet so much,
and just kept going and going.

She used to peck at hands,
if a person played with her.

She used to like her cage,
and felt safe there.

George was a good bird.