Best Poems: 61 / 500
Dog Poems: 2 / 500

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

Rating: 4.1

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.

Joe Rock 08 October 2009

The title doesn't really jive with the poem, as it seems like he doesn't mind the dog enough to shoot it. Plus, the narrator sounds like a sissy who is afraid of guns and listens only to classical music. But what do you expect from Billy. Blegh.

16 108 Reply
Jerry Buckley 27 January 2012

My second favorite poem ever.... and the poem which led me to my favorite poet ever... Billy Collins the maestro.... Thank you Billy... Enjoyed your recent visit to Vanderbilt University, please come again.

47 25 Reply
C Coudriet 22 March 2010

@joe Rock - Classical music is not for Sissies

32 37 Reply
Louie -Love & Peace- Levy 15 November 2009

Your reflection and perception of a 'Gun' inference to solve a most common 'pestering' for Peace among neighbors, succeeds in patronizing the Pet and kindly tolerate their enslaved companion. Had the 'Genius' of Ancient, Activist Musicians dealt alike with tyrant, murdering 'Hecklers', such complacency would have never provided any poem's author with literary amusement. Not such as WMD technology hath ended all wars, as we were led to believe as WW 2 Veterans, There's a more simpler solution to shut down inconsiderate 'Barking'. All animals do have their birth right to communicate within hearing range. Please allow me to collaborate and share a learned solution. 'There were Barks from the left of my fence and likened responses from the right side. Flanking from the rear were two megaphoning Dobermans, ready at Guard - An audience with faint bark applause were in harmony within ear shout distance from somewhere.' My call to our local trusty and loving 'Animal Control' officers had all the provokers for peace among all neighbors by the space age technology of a mild shocking 'Barking Collar'. One button depressed and the animal is trained to shut itself up and keep all we more disaplined animals happy and Loving? Now? What to do with the evil brains of all war mongers and fanatic, dogma barkers Any Ideas out there? Repectfully, Mr Collins, you are a stimulus sort of inspire, to say the least, Thank you! ...louie NYC bred

16 43 Reply
Eiz Qarqash 03 June 2012

I liked the poem a lot. Billy Collins's poems are very simple with slight favor of mystery, but they symbolize complex thoughts. Thank you, Mr. Collins for such a great poem and I hope I'll meet you in person someday.

34 24 Reply
balls 16 November 2021


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MAHTAB BANGALEE 27 October 2021

barking dog seldom bite; that's why I don't keep any gun...

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Fran Reynolds 19 September 2021

This is one of my favorite Billy Collins poem. I can "hear" the "barking, barking, barking, " and imagine the frustration in the writer, yet you know he would not shoot the dog even if he had a gun! You really have to read between the lines and beyond the literal meanings of Billy Collins' poems.

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nick gurr 14 July 2021

great poem!

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Congratulations Professor Billy Collins for your humorous Masterpiece full of greatest Brilliance! 5 Stars fullest.

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