poet Billy Collins

Billy Collins

#42 on top 500 poets

Another Reason Why I Don'T Keep A Gun In The House

The neighbors' 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 on their way out.

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.

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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Comments about Another Reason Why I Don'T Keep A Gun In The House by Billy Collins

  • Diane Margolis (3/29/2020 3:25:00 PM)

    I wonder if I didn’t have a neighbor
    With a pair of barking dogs
    Whether I would have so enjoyed
    “Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep A Gun In The House.”

    Guess I have to be grateful for those dogs
    Who drove me up a wall
    so I could smile with a poem
    and thank it’s author.

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  • Chris (11/6/2019 1:36:00 AM)

    So don’t do anything rash and tell him

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  • Oshank (9/26/2019 6:29:00 AM)

    He was very good and his poems very help us.

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  • Michael WalkerMichael Walker (9/19/2019 9:22:00 PM)

    A dog barking for a long time is very annoying, and common among close neighbours.
    The dog can keep you awake at night or annoy you in the morning. So much better to listen to Beethoven.
    A fine poem of urban life.

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  • Jane Campion (6/24/2019 3:47:00 PM)

    We all know the feeling when we are disturbed.

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  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (6/24/2019 10:23:00 AM)

    Guns and roses!

    Better pick up the roses and forget about the guns! ! ! !


    🤗📚🎓🖊 Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

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  • Ratnakar Mandlik (6/24/2019 6:49:00 AM)

    A great soliloquy, in the lighter vein perhaps, giving the reason for not keeping a gun in the house a the irritant of the neighbors barking dog may compel him to use that gun. A great modern poem of the Day.

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  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (6/24/2019 3:08:00 AM)

    A brilliant poem nicely executed. It is justified for selecting modern poem of as the poem of day. Congratulation.

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  • Sylvia Frances ChanSylvia Frances Chan (6/24/2019 1:40:00 AM)

    Addition: Last 11 March 2018 this poem was chosen as TMPOTD, WOW! Double Congrats from me, Billy.

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  • Sylvia Frances ChanSylvia Frances Chan (6/24/2019 1:33:00 AM)

    AND what I did not realize was This Poem is chosen as THE MODERN POEM OF TODAY 24 JUNE 2019. Hurray!
    CONGRATULATIONS, Dear BILLY, being chosen by POEM HUNTER and TEAM as TMPOTD Celebrations at your home. God's Blessings in Abundance.

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  • Sylvia Frances ChanSylvia Frances Chan (6/24/2019 1:25:00 AM)

    The USA film industry used that famous name BEETHOVEN, but this name belongs to and remains the genius Flemish POET LUDWIG van BEETHOVEN and that film is truly entertaining, OF COURSE. Thank you for sharing, this heart warming poem, Billy. A very pity, I had no time to watch this film, I am sure that it IS most entertaining after having read your poem time and again.

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  • Adeeb AlfatehAdeeb Alfateh (6/24/2019 1:20:00 AM)

    while the other musicians listen in respectful
    silence to the famous barking dog solo,

    amazing and great write

    great 10+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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  • Sylvia Frances ChanSylvia Frances Chan (1/16/2019 1:07:00 AM)

    Ludwig van Beethoven IS a genius POET from Vlaanderen, Belgium in EUROPE, on THE CONTINENT and never a dog. PLEASE....

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  • Indira Rice Donegan (6/15/2018 5:34:00 AM)

    this was grrrrreat.

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  • Tom Previtera (6/15/2018 5:21:00 AM)

    This poem reads like an opinion piece.

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  • Jennifer (5/29/2018 3:49:00 PM)

    Great poem. Love it

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  • cody keen (3/29/2018 8:00:00 AM)

    i love his poem.he is the best poem writer i know.

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  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (3/11/2018 7:40:00 PM)

    I did not know Billy Collins was a member- -raising eyebrow here. I will assume that this was a mistake and not an actuality. As far as the topic, he tapped a sensitive nerve here in me... but now a neighborhood has added a rooster that shrieks in the night so I wonder how Billy Collins would work that into Beethoven.... or the croaking noise I would love to hear soon. ;)

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    Sylvia Frances ChanSylvia Frances Chan(1/16/2019 12:57:00 AM)

    EXCELLENT REMARK, SUSAN
    Thank YOU so much. I like your notes here very much.
    Thank you for sharing, dear Susan.

    20 person liked.
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  • James MclainJames Mclain (3/11/2018 7:20:00 PM)

    No, don't think that mr. Collins,
    will read what we write.. lol.. James McLain

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  • Glen KappyGlen Kappy (3/11/2018 5:37:00 PM)

    Billy (since this appears as a Member Poem of the Day, perhaps you’ll read this) , this is one of the earliest poems by you I read and helped make me a fan of yours. It has the characteristic Collins’ conversational tone and wit, and how current it is in light of yet one more mass shooting. This might be one of your longest poem titles, yes? Appreciatively, GK

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Read poems about / on: dog, house, music, silence, time