64: Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep a Gun in the House by Billy Collins


The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking.
He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark
that he barks every time they leave the house.
They must switch him on on their way out.

The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking.
I close all the windows in the house
and put on a Beethoven symphony full blast
but I can still hear him muffled under the music,
barking, barking, barking,

and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,
his head raised confidently as if Beethoven
had included a part for barking dog.

When the record finally ends he is still barking,
sitting there in the oboe section barking,
his eyes fixed on the conductor who is
entreating him with his baton

while the other musicians listen in respectful
silence to the famous barking dog solo,
that endless coda that first established
Beethoven as an innovative genius.

 

The author’s work can be found in the volume, The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems.

Think about how the poem made you feel? Do you feel sympathy for the narrator’s frustrations, humor in the imagery the narrator creates, or disdain toward their anger toward one of god’s great creatures?

May you live out another beautiful poem in the collection of your life today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

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