Pablo Neruda

(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973 / Parral)

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

  • Kay Lopez (3/24/2020 2:52:00 PM)

    Lovely expression about the unconditional love and soulful qualities of the dog(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Yeetyeet (2/6/2020 9:33:00 AM)

    Thanks hahahahahhahajajahahajajhahahahahahahahahahhahaah(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Rajnish MangaRajnish Manga (1/4/2020 2:34:00 AM)

    Life as well as the death of a pet dog- a companion- essayed by the poet through his own study, belief and philosophy. Thanks.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Michael WalkerMichael Walker (11/17/2019 9:42:00 PM)

    A long piece of drivel. If I liked dogs, I might think differently.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Leeann Azzopardi (11/17/2019 8:05:00 PM)

    when my dog has pass away i'll return to this poem it's so beautiful for such a beautiful animal(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Sylvia Frances ChanSylvia Frances Chan (11/17/2019 6:09:00 PM)

    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..................So sweetest said, beautiful sad poem. Dogs are indeed very loyal companions. A dog has died, not MY dog has died...wonderful love for his dog. CONGRATULATIONS for the Modern Poem Of The Day!(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Aniruddha PathakAniruddha Pathak (11/17/2019 8:14:00 AM)

    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, ...
    Lovely feelings for a dog that died..
    Fabulous, the dog's love wanted nothing in return...even your wife expects something! ! !
    Beautiful poem.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Harley WhiteHarley White (11/17/2019 7:54:00 AM)

    Marvelous poem! And thanks for the excellent translation...(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (11/17/2019 4:08:00 AM)

    Joyful, joyful, joyful,
    as only dogs know how to be happy
    with only the autonomy
    of their shameless spirit.
    ....../// beautiful poetic expression(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Khalil GabolKhalil Gabol (10/28/2019 7:12:00 AM)

    Beautiful, 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.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Vanessa (10/22/2019 1:08:00 PM)

    I don’t like it your welcome(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Linda R. (9/23/2019 1:52:00 PM)

    Awaiting across the Rainbow Bridge -(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • D M (8/20/2019 10:17:00 AM)

    I am not sure of this chap was really a dog person, it doesn't seem like his dog conisidered him a pack leader(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Kevi Keego (7/22/2019 7:54:00 AM)

    so sad and true! A dog is the most precious animal on the planet! Spell dog backwards?(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • evie455ffje/jq/voalqjvlgihjaih''/ahgpj''qog (7/16/2019 2:47:00 PM)

    this is stupid why would you wright a dog has died(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • DeJack (7/10/2019 8:44:00 AM)

    I don't care yygcydug.jhv, Hyde.jghj.v.hyv, hgv, the, high, the, hfs.yhv.hyv.hyvhy.f.hyg.yjcy.j(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Oigha Skfka (6/19/2019 11:12:00 PM)

    ❥HERE► http: //www.candycash7.com(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Oigha Skfka (6/19/2019 11:12:00 PM)

    Today the summer season has come at my window with its sighs and murmurs; and
    the bees are plying their minstrelsy at the courtroom of the flowering grove.

    Notable poet ❥HERE► http: //www.candycash7.com "
    writes top notch(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Douglas Scotney (6/19/2019 10:35:00 PM)

    I wonder if there are degrees of shame in dogs?(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ratnakar Mandlik (6/19/2019 8:57:00 PM)

    " Joyful, joyful, joyful
    as only dogs know how to be happy
    with only the autonomy
    of their shameless spirit."
    A fabulous poem narrating the neglect and insults inflicted on dogs and their living with pride in service of master with loyalty. The bondage between the two marvelously elaborated.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 140 comments »




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Read poems about / on: dog, believe, heaven, sea, lonely, ocean, winter, sky, star, together, happy, hair, lost, alone



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Monday, March 22, 2010


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