Sunday, October 18, 2009


Here's a dog walk poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Note how the speaker isn't walking but observes a dog walking and imagines its thoughts and perceptions and so forth.

("democratic dog / engaged in real / free enterprise") A politics of transportation: what is it that connects walking to democracy, as if it were somehow more egalitarian than, say, riding regal? And what about the politics of animals: a "democratic dog" as opposed to, say, an elitist cat?

For the digital music generation, it may be helpful to note that "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" refers to Nipper, the dog featured on Victor RCA records.

Although not a walk poem, James Merrill's "The Victor Dog" is also about Nipper. Click here for an annotated version of Merrill's poem.

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