I didn’t mean to inhale the WHOLE thing!

leo-thistleIf you’ve followed this blog for very long, you know that I insert the occasional poem–mostly mine–but someone else’s now and again. I think of poetry as condensed stories. It’s the essence of life boiled down to words that will often fit on a single page. Intense, rich, something to be nibbled and savored.

And then I picked up Dog Songs by Mary Oliver.

And next thing I knew I’d read every single poem. At first, I just dipped in here and there. Then I flipped to the front and read straight through. Even to the acknowledgements. Here is a kindred spirit–a poet who loves dogs.

Or, loved dogs. Mary Oliver died in 2019. But her paean to dogs lives on.

You see, I love poetry and I love dogs. And while poetry is normally something I like to enjoy a little at a time–to roll around in my imagination and drip word by word onto my tongue–dogs are something that should be taken all at once. Dogs are for getting down on the floor and burying your hands in their fur and laughing.

So, it’s only right that Dog Songs should inspire a similar reaction. Go ahead. Read them ALL. Laugh, smile, cry. Just enjoy this litany of dogs none of which lived long enough but all of which brought incredible joy. The God-ordained job of dogs in my opinion.

Inhale the whole thing.dog songs

“You may not agree, you may not care, but if you are holding this book you should know that of all the sights I love in this world—and there are plenty—very near the top of the list is this one: dogs without leashes.” – Mary Oliver

Published by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Author, wife, child of God.

4 thoughts on “I didn’t mean to inhale the WHOLE thing!

  1. Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to order after Christmas. If you check out my blog today, you can see a picture of my little Bertie. A dog who showed up eight years ago on my porch, half-starved, and flea and tick-infested. I was supposed to take him to the dog pound, but turned in at the Vet’s office who treated him for parasites, and other wounds. He’s been my most loyal companion and friend since.

  2. I have ambivalent feelings about dogs at the moment. I like them well enough but time and place please. Currently our society is forcing me to like them on planes, in restaurants, libraries and such, all for the cause of companion. A dog is best appreciated on the porch lolling about waiting for a head scratch or a tummy rub. Or romping in the field chasing a ball. Not on a plane, not in a booth—a Seuss moment. I like your enthusiasm for the book.

    1. I’ll confess that I’m a fan of a dog just about anywhere any time. Even so, I think for the DOG’S sake we shouldn’t force them to accompany us everywhere! Yes, dogs were made to romp free. Unleashed . . .

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