Dog Poems - Poems For Dog

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A Dog Has Died - Poem by Pablo Neruda

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


Comments about A Dog Has Died by Pablo Neruda

  • Gold Star - 20,215 Points Seamus O' Brian (1/19/2017 11:45:00 AM)

    I came back to this one, following the memory of my own little dog, who skipped through my life and my heart leaving behind a trail of magic.

    There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
    and we don't now and never did lie to each other.

    A beautiful line in a beautiful poem. A man seemingly reluctant to admit the depth of attachment, but his love permeates it anyway. A favourite of mine. (Report) Reply

    4 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Veteran Poet - 1,578 Points Augustus Mutebesi Billy (8/10/2016 1:32:00 AM)

    An Ironic sardistic finish for such an emotion filled poem! (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,901 Points Oluwatobi Moses (7/29/2016 4:49:00 PM)

    love this elegy For a dead dog.but he forgot to tell us his name.jaggy or bingo? (Report) Reply

Read all 73 comments »

Poems About Dog

  1. 1. A Dog Has Died , Pablo Neruda
  2. 2. The Dog Lovers , Spike Milligan
  3. 3. Mother Doesn'T Want A Dog , Judith Viorst
  4. 4. The Dog , Ogden Nash
  5. 5. Verse For A Certain Dog , Dorothy Parker
  6. 6. The New Dog , Linda Pastan
  7. 7. Tom's Little Dog , Walter de la Mare
  8. 8. Happy Dog , Flying Lemming
  9. 9. Epigram Engraved On The Collar Of A Dog .. , Alexander Pope
  10. 10. The Power Of The Dog , Rudyard Kipling
  11. 11. What The Dog Perhaps Hears , Lisel Mueller
  12. 12. An Elegy On The Death Of A Mad Dog , Oliver Goldsmith
  13. 13. Walking The Dog , Howard Nemerov
  14. 14. The Dog Of Art , Denise Levertov
  15. 15. Abandoned Dog , Robert William Service
  16. 16. To Flush, My Dog , Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  17. 17. To A Lady With An Unruly And Ill-Mannere.. , Sir Walter Raleigh
  18. 18. An Elegy On A Lap-Dog , John Gay
  19. 19. I Started Early - Took My Dog , Emily Dickinson
  20. 20. The Ballad Of M. T. Nutt And His Dog , Banjo Paterson
  21. 21. The Dog And His Master , Anne Kingsmill Finch
  22. 22. My Dog , Marchette Chute
  23. 23. Red Dog , Rudyard Kipling
  24. 24. Hot Digitty Dog , Robert William Service
  25. 25. Homer's Seeing-Eye Dog , William Matthews
  26. 26. Morgan's Dog , Banjo Paterson
  27. 27. ! Three Persons And A Dog And Loyalty , Michael Shepherd
  28. 28. The Shepherd's Dog , Mary Darby Robinson
  29. 29. Happy Dog 2 , Flying Lemming
  30. 30. Me, My Dog, And The Beach , Karen Curcio
  31. 31. A Dog Of Few Words , Ima Ryma
  32. 32. 0409 The Postman And The Dog, Or Plato's.. , Michael Shepherd
  33. 33. 0204 Every Dog Will Have His Night , Michael Shepherd
  34. 34. The Bagman's Dog, : Mr. Peters's Story , Richard Harris Barham
  35. 35. Zz Border Collies Dilemma Or Lessons Of .. , Mary Havran
  36. 36. Unfinished Landscape With A Dog , Kate Northrop
  37. 37. A Lost Boy And His Dog , Joseph T. Renaldi
  38. 38. My Beloved Dog , Joseph T. Renaldi
  39. 39. My Dog Fred , Nadalia Bagratuni
  40. 40. My Dog , Robert William Service
  41. 41. (300) Our Dog (Blaze) , Melvina Germain
  42. 42. The Dying Hunter To His Dog , Susanna Strickland Moodie
  43. 43. The Black Dog (Depression) , Dallas Nyberg
  44. 44. Mad Dog , Ben Gieske
  45. 45. A Dog Named Sex , Carl Palmer
  46. 46. I Love My Dog 'Bobbie' , David Darbyshire
  47. 47. * The Tale Of The Greedy Dog (Limerick) * , Shadigo Claws
  48. 48. The Dog , Jean De La Fontaine
  49. 49. A Dog With Six Names , Arsiema Berhane
  50. 50. Two Horses And A Dog , James Galvin
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