Dog Poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti


Rating: 4.5

The dog trots freely in the street
and sees reality
and the things he sees
are bigger than himself
and the things he sees
are his reality
Drunks in doorways
Moons on trees
The dog trots freely thru the street
and the things he sees
are smaller than himself
Fish on newsprint
Ants in holes
Chickens in Chinatown windows
their heads a block away
The dog trots freely in the street
and the things he smells
smell something like himself
The dog trots freely in the street
past puddles and babies
cats and cigars
poolrooms and policemen
He doesn't hate cops
He merely has no use for them
and he goes past them
and past the dead cows hung up whole
in front of the San Francisco Meat Market
He would rather eat a tender cow
than a tough policeman
though either might do
And he goes past the Romeo Ravioli Factory
and past Coit's Tower
and past Congressman Doyle
He's afraid of Coit's Tower
but he's not afraid of Congressman Doyle
although what he hears is very discouraging
very depressing
very absurd
to a sad young dog like himself
to a serious dog like himself
But he has his own free world to live in
His own fleas to eat
He will not be muzzled
Congressman Doyle is just another
fire hydrant
to him
The dog trots freely in the street
and has his own dog's life to live
and to think about
and to reflect upon
touching and tasting and testing everything
investigating everything
without benefit of perjury
a real realist
with a real tale to tell
and a real tail to tell it with
a real live
democratic dog
engaged in real
free enterprise
with something to say
about ontology
something to say
about reality
and how to see it
and how to hear it
with his head cocked sideways
at streetcorners
as if he is just about to have
his picture taken
for Victor Records
listening for
His Master's Voice
and looking
like a living questionmark
into the
great gramaphone
of puzzling existence
with its wondrous hollow horn
which always seems
just about to spout forth
some Victorious answer
to everything

Glen Kappy 08 May 2018

this poem has a bit of everything—an interesting perspective, philosophy, social and political commentary...—and i read it with a smile. yay! -gk

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Robert Murray Smith 08 May 2018

This a dog of a poem because it makes you laugh. A beautifully crafted composition. It is an exemplsr for what poetry should be, entertaining.

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mauro ffortissimo 22 March 2018

Not a comment ! on this, one of the most tremendous poems I have read in a while... Reading it for the maestro on his 99th birthday, Cent' anni!

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Rajnish Manga 08 May 2018

It reads like 'A day in the life of a dog' where the dog is 'like a living questionmark' just like his human counterpart. An exploratory poem indeed. Thanks.

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Bernard F. Asuncion 08 May 2018

Such a great write by Lawrence Ferlinghetti👍👍👍

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Kathryn 26 July 2020

Quite amazing and uplifting poem. I think succeeds in " raising our consciousness" in the poem" Dog" . Thanks, Lawrence.

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c. b. secundy 18 October 2019

Were I a blessed dog, I might be able to abide the Trump administration.

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Susan Williams 08 May 2018

He will not be muzzled / Congressman Doyle is just another / fire hydrant / to him - - - - - - - -hahahahahahaha, loved that characterization of the politician's worth! ! ! !

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Edward Kofi Louis 08 May 2018

The dog trots freely in the street! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

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Smoky Hoss 08 May 2018

It is after all, a dogs world, isn't it?

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