We do not write poems about dogs –
Not, at least, if we want to be taken
In any way seriously.
Dogs are not sensible, grown-up subjects
For sensible, grown-up writers.
They are not issues or arguments
But the stuff of rhymes we write at school
Like sunsets, springtime and the sea
The root of all doggerel.
No. Instead, we stick to abstractions
Write loftily of love, fidelity, domestic intimacy,
Age, infirmity, and the bitter, plunging agony of leaving
While carefully kidding ourselves
That we’re not really writing
About dogs at all.