"Because of the dog’s joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift. It is not the least reason why we should honor as well as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born. What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? What would this world be like without dogs?"… Mary Oliver from Dog StoriesMary Oliver, dog lover & poet, writes about the dogs that have come into and left her life, but they are universal in their sentiments. The happy moments, the sad moments of a dog passing, the exuberance, the wonderment of the world, a near perfect world when shared with a dog and when we experience their unconditional love. These are dog stories, but Mary Oliver's poems go beyond just our relationships with our dogs, the poems also seem to speak to our relationship with nature, and how we as humans can be touched and made to appreciate the nature that surrounds us.
I enjoy poetry, but I don't read a lot of poetry books. I thought I would change all that this year. As a dog lover I was motivated to open the pages of Dog Stories, and enjoyed what I found between the pages. Though Mary was speaking of her dogs, it brought back fond memories of time spent with my fur baby BJ, especially her poem entitled The Sweetness of Dogs, about sitting out in the moonlight…
thinking how grateful I am for the moon's
perfect beauty and also, oh! how rich
it is to love the world. Percy, meanwhile,
leans against me and gazes up into
my face. As though I were just as wonderful
as the perfect moon.
…excerpt from The Sweetness of Dogs
A slim volume, with over 35 poems and an essay, should be savored and enjoyed. If you share a life with a dog, or have shared, it's a perfect volume to crack the spine every once in a while to remember or remind what life with a dog can be.
*P.S. This is my first book read for the Dive into Poetry Challenge!