Monday, October 11, 2010

To Dogs and their Human Companions

Sitting brooding yesterday, I happened to read some poetry.Not a regular habit though! And this pick posted here is one which I feel has no peer,amongst the many lyrics and poetry written on Dogs.This wonderful piece by   Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto is special .
I guess opinions may not differ much.

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,
 that's all there is to it.
                                     Pablo Neruda


Shilpa Garg said...

Ah! So sweet and beautiful!

dr.antony said...

That was one of the most touching poetry I read recently. I loved it.
I was reminded of my dog,Michael who died last year.

"No, my dog used to gaze 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."

Michael used to do the same thing.

I have had dogs all my life, which means I have lost many. Each time I was so devastated and swore never ever again. But time healed me and I longed for that constant companionship, that unconditional love and loyality only a dog will give you.
Thanks for the wonderful post,Anil

Balachandran V said...

Dey, You are getting old! I had posted this poem by Pablo Neruda in Oct 2009 - ;P
My travels, My life: Neruda

Who is this Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto ?

anilkurup said...

@ Shilpa Garg

Yes certainly a wonderful poem.

@ dr antony
I see your love for dogs. As intense as that of Balan.

@ Bals,

I had a distant presumption an inkling that you a doggy dog lover would have already stumbled upon this poem. Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto was the given name of Pablo Neruda.

kaalpanique said...

lovely poem. enjoyed reading that

anilkurup said...

@ Kalpanique

That s good friend

Sukanya said...

Thank u for picking up this poem for us.

anilkurup said...

@ Sukanya

I appreciate your comment. Thank you