A Dog Has Died Poem by Pablo Neruda

A Dog Has Died

Rating: 3.7

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

Lewis Neil Is Awsome 04 November 2009

Wow, that was pretty good, but i hear there is this poem called 'Neil is awsome', it was life changing and insperational. Read it and vote it a 10!

22 70 Reply
Albert Rodriguez 09 October 2010

Neruda has the brilliant art of making you feel where nothing has ever been felt. He defines what a poet is.

55 36 Reply
Denis Neumann 01 January 2013

If you like poems about dogs, read Unleashed, a book of poems written by writer's dogs.

15 62 Reply
Bobby Bob 13 July 2012

beautiful poem... a bit cold at the end though.

17 55 Reply
Kim 17 July 2022

But in the end that is exactly how it makes one feel...COLD!

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Zemindar 15 August 2022

I read lots about the deaths of pets. Jack London's

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Docky Dickrns 20 April 2021


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Luz Hanaii 19 March 2021

I can't believe this poem only had a rating of 3.7? I feel that many ignore that this is a very famous poet, now deceased on September 23,1973. But his classing work lives on.

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Varsha M 15 March 2021

Dogs are more faithful than humans. To have them in life is really a blessing. They are more than just a companion. Thry understand, respect, play and do everything that makes life beautiful. Loosing them is like loosing a gem of life.

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me poet yeps poet 15 March 2021

This poem has been composed by the best of poets POET LAURETTE IT desrves a 5 STAR at the least When my dog FLASHY died I CRIED FOR A WEEK And also composed a TRIBUTE so differently You all have read it BUT I BOW TO NERUDA THE NOBEL HOLDER OF POETRY RARELY GIVEN TO MANY

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