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.
  •  

  • How the pet died.
  •  

  • Memories of the pet.
  •  

  • What the pet was like when it was alive.
  •  

  • What their life is like now that the pet is gone.
  •  

  • How they mourn for the pet.
  •  

  • How other people perceive their mourning for the pet.
  •  

  • How they feel more generally after the death of the pet.
  •  

  • 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.

Bilingual Poem: The dog is hungry

The dog is hungry,
by why?

The dog ate in the morning.

The dog ate in the afternoon.

The dog ate at night.

With no words,
the dog speaks.

The dog is hungry.

Why?

 

¿El perro tiene hambre,
pero por qué?

El perro comió en la mañana.

El perro comió en la tarde.

El perro comió en noche.

Con no palabras,
el perro habla.

El perro tiene hambre.

¿Por qué?

Experimental Poetry Form: backwards limerick

A limerick is a poem written in anapestic meter.  It can look as follows with the *s being unstressed syllables, the /s being stressed syllables, and the letters representing rhyming groups.

**/**/**/ A
**/**/**/ A
**/**/ B
**/**/ B
**/**/**/ A

Today’s experimental poetry form takes the limerick form above, and turns it backwards.  It looks as follows:

**/**/**/A
**/**/B
**/**/B
**/**/**/A
**/**/**/A

The idea of the experiment, is to see how the form sounds with the change.

Here’s a poem written in the form:

The poor dog he did cry all the day,
for the bone it was gone,
out somewhere in the lawn,
but next door a glad dog it did say,
“The nice bone it is mine o’ hooray!”

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

 

Poem with an explanation: Don’t ever go

Hello.

Is it play time?

Time for a walk?

Hey, what’s that?

What’s this thing?

Is this moving?

Where’s home?

Hello.

Hello.

This is bad.

This is bad.

What’s this place?

This doesn’t look good.

This is that place, isn’t it?

Noooooooooooo.

Why this place?

Why?

Was it the shoes?

The noise?

Something?

It’ll change.

It will.

Home is good.

Home.

Home.

Home.

Is it time to go?

No, that’s the wrong way!

This is bad.

This is bad.

Who’s that?

Ahhhhhh!

That was bad.

Who’s that?

What are they doing?

Ahhhhhh!

Ahhhhhh!

This is bad.

This is bad.

You’re not nice.

You’re not nice.

Is it time to go?

Leaving?

Yea!!!

Hurry.

Into the thing.

It’s moving.

It’s moving.

What’s that?

Home?

Home?

Home!!!

Home!!!

Yea!!!

Hello.

Hello.

It was horrible.

Horrible!

Don’t ever go.

Don’t ever go.

 

This poem follows the thoughts of a dog during a trip to the veterinarian.  The dog is simplistic in how he views things and sees things from an emotional level.  Things are either good or bad.

Although the poem is about a dog, it can be viewed as a metaphor for the human experience with medical care.  The human experience in medical care can be one of uncertainty, fear, and feeling that things are happening to you.  The dog’s experience reflects this.

The poem starts with the dog greeting his owner (Hello.)  The dog questions why his owner is there (Is it play time? Time for a walk?)

The dog has a harness put on and is taken to a car.  When he sees it, he doesn’t know what it is (Hey, what’s that?).  When he gets inside, he questions it further (What’s this thing?).

As the car starts to move, the dog questions what is happening (Is this moving?).  He wants to go back to where he was happy.  He wants to go back home.  He expresses this through a question (Where’s home?).

The dog feels a sense of abandonment from his owner.  He says Hello twice to his owner hoping to get some sort of comfort.  When he does not, he feels the negativity of his situation (This is bad.  This is bad.).

When they arrive at the vet, the dog questions where they are (What’s this place?).  The smell of the place fills the dog with foreboding (This doesn’t look good.)  The dog realizes where it is and questions it (This is that place, isn’t it?).  The realization fills the dog with despair (Noooooooooooo.)

The dog wonders if he is being punished (Why this place? Why?)  He questions if it is because he chewed shoes (Was it the shoes?), barked (The noise?), or anything else (Something?).

Fearing the place, and hoping for reprieve, the dog promises to change (It’ll change.  It will.)

The dog doesn’t like where he is.  He thinks of his happy place (Home is good.)  While he waits, he keeps thinking of it (Home.  Home.  Home.)

The dog and owner are then called into the examination room.  As his owner gets up, the dog think’s it is getting relief (Is it time to go?).  As the dog is lead further into the office, he realizes he isn’t going home (No, that’s the wrong way!)

When the dog goes in the office he is very scared (This is bad.  This is bad.  This is bad.)

The veterinary assistant comes in.  The dog question who it is (Who’s that?).  The assistant takes the dog’s temperature, which the dog does not like (Ahhhhhh!  That was bad.)

The veterinarian then comes in.  The dog again questions who it is (Who’s that?)  The vet then checks the dog over, which the dog doesn’t like (What are they doing?)

The vet then gives the dog two vaccinations.  Both fill the dog with pain (Ahhhhhh!  Ahhhhhh!).

The dog doesn’t like where he is (This is bad.  This is bad.)  He feels a sense of betrayal from his owner (You’re not nice.  You’re not nice.)

At this point, the dog’s owner gets up to leave with him (Is it time to go?).  The dog, in disbelief, questions if they are leaving (Leaving?)

When the dog realizes they are, he cheers (Yea!!!).  He wants his owner to hurry (Hurry.) and get into the car (Into the thing.)

As they drive away, the dog is filled with glee and it cheers (It’s moving.  It’s moving.)

As they go, the dog recognizes the area as familiar (What’s that?)  He thinks they are getting near home (Home?  Home?).  When he sees his home he cheers (Home!!! Home!!! Yea!!!).

When the dog arrives home, he greats another dog that lives with him (Hello.  Hello.)  He tells the dog of his experience (It was horrible.  Horrible!) and warns the dog to never go (Don’t ever go.  Don’t ever go.)

Experimental Poetry Form: anapestic meter with rhyme

Today’s experimental poetry form uses anapestic meter.  In each foot of this meter there are two short syllables followed by a long one.  It is the meter you might hear in a limerick.

In the form, there is one stanza with eight lines.  Each line has two anapestic feet.  In the form, lines two and four rhyme, and lines six and eight rhyme.  With the unstressed syllables noted with an -, the stress syllables noted with an *, and the rhyming lines noted with R and a number, the form looks as follows:

– – * – – *
– – * – – * R 1
– – * – – *
– – * – – * R 1
– – * – – *
– – * – – * R 2
– – * – – *
– – * – – * R 2

Here is an example poem using the form:

The small dog did have wings,
and it flew in the sky.
And the birds they did watch,
as the dog it flew by.
Then they asked how it flew,
and the dog it did say,
that it flew with its wings,
that it flew just like they.

 

As a note, there will be new blog post on M. Sakran’s blog of and about poetry and poetry related things November 22, 2018 – November 25, 2018.  The next new post will be on November 26, 2018.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Poem with an explanation: Happiness again

Behind the bars,
looking out,
listening for a sound.

  Behind the bars,
  looking in,
  sitting in the silence.

The door opens,
eyes look up,
with hope.

  The door opens,
  eyes look down,
  in the emptiness.

Waiting each day,
seeing joy,
waiting for the turn.

  Waiting each day,
  seeing sadness,
  with nothing to wait for.

    Having a thought.

    Waiting.

    Having a thought.

    Waiting.

    Time passes.

    Waiting.

    Taking a step.

    Waiting.

Behind the bars,
looking out,
seeing the face.

  In front of the bars,
  looking in,
  seeing the face.

Happiness again.

 

This poem is about a person and a dog.  The person recently had their dog die and the dog in the poem is in an animal shelter.

The poem has stanzas with alternating focus for the most part (although how that is applied changes in the poem).  For the first six stanzas, the odd stanzas are from the perspective of the dog and the even stanzas are from the perspective of the person.

In the first stanza (Behind the bars, looking out, listening for a sound), the dog is in a cage at the shelter.  It is looking outside the cage bars hoping someone will come for it.

In the second stanza (Behind the bars, looking in, sitting in the silence), the person is alone at home.  Their dog has died and they are sad.  Their house feels like a prison (Behind the bars) and they are feeling loneliness.

In the third stanza (The door opens, eyes look up, with hope), the dog hears someone come into the shelter.  They look up hoping the person will pick them.

In the fourth stanza (The door opens, eyes look down, in the emptiness), the person opens the door to a room where their dog was.  The look down because they are sad because they are sad their dog is no longer there.

In the fifth stanza (Waiting each day, seeing joy, waiting for the turn), the dog in the shelter waits for someone to get it.  It sees the happiness of other dogs that are picked and it waits for its turn.

In the sixth stanza (Waiting each day, seeing sadness, with nothing to wait for), the person waits to feel better, but they are sad, and they feel like they have nothing to wait for because their dog is gone.

The first six stanzas follow a pattern.  They are grouped as pairs.  In each pair (stanzas 1 and 2, stanzas 3 and 4, and stanzas 5 and 6), the first line is the same and the second lines start with the same word and then have an opposite word (out/in, up/down, joy/sadness).  All the stanzas are three lines.

Stanzas seven through fourteen are the next set of stanzas.  In this set, the person’s perspective is shown in the odd stanzas, and the dog’s perspective is shown in the even.

In stanza seven, the person has the first thought of getting another dog.  In the eighth stanza, the dog waits.  In the ninth stanza, the person thinks of this more.  In the tenth stanza, the dog waits.  In the eleventh stanza, time passes.  In the twelfth stanza, the dog waits.  In the thirteenth stanza, the person goes to the shelter.  In the fourteenth stanza, the dog waits.

In stanzas seven through fourteen, the stanzas for the dog are all the same.

The next set of stanzas are stanzas fifteen and sixteen.

Stanza fifteen parallels stanza one, and has the same first two lines.  In this stanza (Behind the bars, looking out, seeing the face), the dog sees the person who has come to get it.

In the sixteenth stanza (In front of the bars, looking in, seeing the face), the person stands and sees the dog.  This stanza has the same second line as stanza two.

The last stanza is a combination of perspectives.  It shows the dog and person are happy again.