Monday, April 27, 2009

Poetry By Others

Sometimes I get lucky and come across a good poem that I never read before. There are many such good poems, I am sure, that never make the popular anthologies or get praised in the schools.
When I find such a poem, I like to put it where I can find it quickly (for re-reading) and to share it with others. Here is one such poem.

The Housedog's Grave
by Robinson Jeffers
(American Poet 1887-1962)

I've changed my ways a little, I cannot now
run with you in the evenings along the shore,
except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment
you see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
where I used to scratch to go out or in,
and you'd soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
the marks of my drinking pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
on the warm stone,
nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the nights through
I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
outside your window where firelight so often plays,
and where you sit to read - and I fear often grieving for me -
every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
to think of you ever dying.
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope that you when you are lying

under the ground like me your lives will appear
as good and joyful as mine.
No, dears, that's too much hope: you are not so well cared for
as I have been.

And never have known the passionate undivided
fidelity's that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided....
But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
to the end and far past the end. If this is my end,
I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.

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