Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Woof! - National Poetry Month

I took Sharkles on a walk to the library with me yesterday to pick up two more Hardy Boys books on tape (the kids' new passion).

It's National Poetry Month, so when we left the library this gray-haired lady with a hemp purse stopped and asked if she could read me a poem. "I've got one about dogs!" she said, rustling around in her messy bag.

"Here it is!" she sang. Then she composed herself to read.

I was in a hurry (for no other reason than that Dane was home with a cough, waiting), but Sharkles sat next to me, and we listened to the poem:

Percy and Books (Eight)
by Mary Oliver

Percy does not like it when I read a book.
He puts his face over the top of it and moans.
He rolls his eyes, sometimes he sneezes.
The sun is up, he says, and the wind is down.
The tide is out and the neighbor's dogs are playing.
But Percy, I say, Ideas! The elegance of language!
The insights, the funniness, the beautiful stories
that rise and fall and turn into strength, or courage.
Books? says Percy. I ate one once, and it was enough.
Let's go.

The poem is from Oliver's collection, Red Bird (2008)

And, on that note, my happy, sniffing, panting, gazing-up-at-me-adoringly dog and I jogged home.


Jennie Englund said...


I can totally IMAGINE you and Sharkles by that statue, listening.

Thanks for sharing lunch and tears with me today, Anj. You're a good friend.

Anonymous said...

I just googled Mary Oliver and you were enjoying poetry by quite an amazing individual!! Had you ever heard her works before?
Just the poem she read to you and Sharkles was outstanding so I just had to google her. She pulls words out of the air just like you.

anjie said...

Hi Jan,

I've definitely heard of Mary Oliver -- she's quite an accomplished writer. And just to be clear, it wasn't Mary Oliver herself reading, just a Poet on the Loose volunteer!

Thanks for your comment, too. :)

Anonymous said...

hello that was a good poem

Anonymous said...

me to