A Dog Has Died
My dog has died.
I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.
Some day I'll join him right there,
but now he's gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I'll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.
Ai, I'll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
he never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of his hair or his mange,
he never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.
No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he'd keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.
Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea's movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean's spray.
Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.
There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don't now and never did lie to each other.
So now he's gone and I buried him,
and that's all there is to it.
Translated, from the Spanish, by Alfred Yankauer
Pablo Neruda's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (A Dog Has Died by Pablo Neruda )
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
Rainer Maria Rilke
(4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi
(1207 - 1273)
- Mark Strand
William Ernest Henley
(1849 - 1902)
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Inspiration, Henry David Thoreau
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- And Death Shall Have No Dominion, Dylan Thomas
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Warning, Jenny Joseph
- 'Hope' is the thing with feathers, Emily Dickinson
Poem of the Day
- When I am able to do what I like عندما ا.., MOHAMMAD SKATI
- At Poemhunter, Khairul Ahsan
- Within My Dreams, Michael P. McParland
- In their ears, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- بےچینی تمھارے بنا, Muhammad Farhan Ahmed
- Fear of Falling, Sierra Staten
- The Story That Doesn't End, Sierra Staten
- Combined Simple Aspect, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Person and Personality, DEEPAK KUMAR PATTANAYAK
- Light Up The Lamp Within You, Amitava Sur