Billy Collins

I never pass up an opportunity to give a shout out to my favorite poet, and favorite poem.  Recently obtained a copy of Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes, a compilation of selected poetry from the former U.S. Poet Laureate.

ANOTHER REASON I DON’T KEEP

A GUN IN THE HOUSE


The neighbor’s dog will not stop barking

He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark

that he barks every time they leave the house.

They must switch him on before they leave the house.

The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking.

I close all the windows in the house

and put on a Beethoven symphony full blast

but I can still hear him muffled under the music,

barking, barking, barking,

and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,

his head raised confidently as if Beethoven

had included a part for barking dog.

When the record finally ends he is still barking,

sitting there in the oboe section barking,

his eyes fixed on the conductor who is

entreating him with his baton

while the other musicians listen in respectful

silence to the famous barking dog solo,

that endless coda that first established

Beethoven as an innovative genius.

~Billy Collins~

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