Billy Collins

(22 March 1941 - / New York City)

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

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.


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

  • Chris (11/6/2019 1:36:00 AM)

    So don’t do anything rash and tell him (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Oshank (9/26/2019 6:29:00 AM)

    He was very good and his poems very help us. (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • 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.
    (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Jane Campion (6/24/2019 3:47:00 PM)

    We all know the feeling when we are disturbed. (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • 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.
    (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • 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. (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • 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. (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • 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. (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • 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.
    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • 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. (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • 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+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • 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.... (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Indira Rice Donegan (6/15/2018 5:34:00 AM)

    this was grrrrreat. (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Tom Previtera (6/15/2018 5:21:00 AM)

    This poem reads like an opinion piece. (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    9 person did not like.
  • Jennifer (5/29/2018 3:49:00 PM)

    Great poem. Love it (Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • cody keen (3/29/2018 8:00:00 AM)

    i love his poem.he is the best poem writer i know. (Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    9 person did not like.
  • 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. ;) (Report)Reply

    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.
    8 person did not like.
  • 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
    (Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • 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 (Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Lyn PaulLyn Paul (3/11/2018 4:26:00 PM)

    Excellent and ever so funny. I am so impressed that you didn't just walk out and buy a gun.
    Poor dog! It just needs a walk and some love.
    Fortunately our gun laws do not allow guns to be purchased here.
    Hope the neighbours move and no one complains about your loud music.
    (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
Read all 59 comments »




What do you think this poem is about?

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



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



[Report Error]