Dog Poems - Poems For Dog

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A Dog Has Died - Poem by Pablo Neruda

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


Comments about A Dog Has Died by Pablo Neruda

  • Veteran Poet - 1,174 Points Tanya Stewart-boateng (7/26/2015 5:48:00 PM)

    I really enjoyed this write. High standard as expected from Neruda. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Veteran Poet - 1,411 Points Dedan Onyango (7/11/2015 4:27:00 AM)

    Neruda's dog is a special one. The qualities are beyond that of a normal dog. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 9,056 Points Madathil Rajendran Nair (3/29/2015 12:05:00 PM)

    Neruda's dog is special; it is perhaps the most undogly dog! One can't resist admiring this dog's aloofness and matter-of-fact, impersonal behaviour. The hidden satire in the poem is very amusing if we consider these lines:

    Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
    where my dog waits for my arrival
    waving his fan-like tail in friendship. (Report) Reply

Read all 54 comments »

Poems About Dog

  1. 1. A Dog Has Died , Pablo Neruda
  2. 2. What The Dog Perhaps Hears , Lisel Mueller
  3. 3. To Flush, My Dog , Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  4. 4. Hot Digitty Dog , Robert William Service
  5. 5. Abandoned Dog , Robert William Service
  6. 6. The Turkish Trench Dog , Geoffrey Dearmer
  7. 7. A Little Dog That Wags His Tail , Emily Dickinson
  8. 8. Two Dogs Have I , Ogden Nash
  9. 9. The Dog And His Master , Anne Kingsmill Finch
  10. 10. The Twa Dogs , Robert Burns
  11. 11. The Little Dog's Day , Rupert Brooke
  12. 12. An Elegy On The Death Of A Mad Dog , Oliver Goldsmith
  13. 13. The New Dog , Linda Pastan
  14. 14. Verse For A Certain Dog , Dorothy Parker
  15. 15. My Dog's My Boss , Robert William Service
  16. 16. My Dog , Robert William Service
  17. 17. The Dog , Jean De La Fontaine
  18. 18. Tom's Little Dog , Walter de la Mare
  19. 19. Dogheads , Carl Sandburg
  20. 20. Mother Doesn'T Want A Dog , Judith Viorst
  21. 21. The Shepherd's Dog , Mary Darby Robinson
  22. 22. A Dog's Mistake , Banjo Paterson
  23. 23. Morgan's Dog , Banjo Paterson
  24. 24. To A Lady With An Unruly And Ill-Mannere.. , Sir Walter Raleigh
  25. 25. Walking The Dog , Howard Nemerov
  26. 26. The Dog , Ogden Nash
  27. 27. The Dog Of Art , Denise Levertov
  28. 28. The Under-Dogs , Robert William Service
  29. 29. The Power Of The Dog , Rudyard Kipling
  30. 30. The Man The Gun And The Dog , Rg Gregory
  31. 31. The Rantin Dog, The Daddie O'T , Robert Burns
  32. 32. Epitaph On A Lap-Dog , Robert Burns
  33. 33. The Dog Lovers , Spike Milligan
  34. 34. Flush Or Faunus , Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  35. 35. Dog , Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  36. 36. The Singing Dog , Rg Gregory
  37. 37. The Cattle-Dog's Death , Henry Lawson
  38. 38. The Song Of Quoodle , Gilbert Keith Chesterton
  39. 39. Epigram Engraved On The Collar Of A Dog .. , Alexander Pope
  40. 40. The Angel Food Dogs , Anne Sexton
  41. 41. Old Dog Tray , Stephen Collins Foster
  42. 42. Homer's Seeing-Eye Dog , William Matthews
  43. 43. The Dog , Gerald Stern
  44. 44. Jogging With Oscar , Walt McDonald
  45. 45. Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog) , A. Van Jordan
  46. 46. Upon Hearing The News You Buried Our Dog , Aimee Nezhukumatathil
  47. 47. Mongrel Heart , David Baker
  48. 48. White Dog , Carl Phillips
  49. 49. Another Reason Why I Don'T Keep A Gun In.. , Billy Collins
  50. 50. Happy Dog , Flying Lemming
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