Friday, June 15, 2018

I Wish I'd Written This

For I Will Consider My Dog Percy

For I will consider my dog Percy.

For he was made small but brave of heart.

For if he met another dog he would kiss her in kindness.

For when he slept he snored only a little.

For he could be silly and noble in the same moment.

For when he spoke he remembered the trumpet and when he scratched he struck the floor like a drum.

For he ate only the finest food and drank only the purest of water, yet he would nibble of the dead fish also.

For he came to me impaired and therefore certain of short life, yet thoroughly rejoiced in each day.

For he took his medicines without argument.

For he played easily with the neighbor’s Bull Mastiff.

For when he came upon mud he splashed through it.

For he was an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.

For he listened to poems as well as love-talk.

For when he sniffed it was as if he were being pleased by every part of the world.

For when he sickened he rallied as many times as he could.

For he was a mixture of gravity and waggery.

For we humans can seek self-destruction in ways he never dreamed of.

For he took actions both cunning and reckless, yet refused always to offer himself to be admonished.

For his sadness though without words was understandable.

For there was nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.

For there was nothing brisker than his life when in motion.

For he was of the tribe of Wolf.

For when I went away he would watch for me at the window.

For her loved me.

For he suffered before I found him, and never forgot it.

For he loved Anne.

For when he lay down to enter sleep he did not argue about whether or not God made him.

For he could fling himself upside down and laugh a true laugh.

For he loved his friend Ricky.

For he would dig holes in the sand and then let Ricky lie in them.

For I often see his shape in the clouds and this is a continual blessing.

– By Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver being so popular, and dogs being so popular, chances are you've read this before. If so, I hope you enjoy reading it again!

I felt I just had to post this poem this week, as it was obviously inspired by Christopher Smart's piece on his cat Jeoffry, which I posted last week. Also I know we have many dog-lovers here; it seems only fair to redress the balance.

Although I'm primarily a cat-lover, I like dogs too and have loved specific dogs – one very special dog even more than any of my cats.

I wish I had the talent to write a poem as well as any of Mary Oliver's! And I'd be happy to succeed in such a beautiful evocation of a beloved pet.

In fact Oliver has a whole book of dog poems (illustrated left) which you can find along with her other books at Amazon.

Multi-award-winning and much loved, this poet probably needs no introduction – but in case she does, you can look her up at Wikiped
ia and/or The Poetry Foundation.

Material shared in 'I Wish I'd Written This' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings remain the property of the copyright owners, usually their authors.


  1. OMG...What a cute poem and sad too as it's written in the past tense. I could see this little angel in every line. I think this line "For he was of the tribe of Wolf." would please our Sherry immensely :)

  2. Oh yes, a dog poem by Mary Oliver - it doesnt get any sweeter than that! I have her Dog Poems (of course). Smiles. I especially love the line about him being a mixture of gravity and waggery. Exactly. And being of the tribe of Wolf. A delight to read. Thank you, Rosemary.

    1. I might have known you would have that book! I'm sure it's been read a number of times.

  3. Oh, Rosemary, this brought a lump to my throat. So very touching, poignant.

    So many touching lines, but perhaps my favorite is this one:

    "For when he lay down to enter sleep he did not argue about whether or not God made him"

    Thank you for sharing this!!

  4. Oh what a perefect selection. I read this as my dog lies sleeping beside me. Thank you for this sweet poem from one of my favorite poets. Wish I'd written this too, or anything that comes close to what Mary Oliver has written.

  5. Oh my. This is so very touching. I especially like that tough he was impaired he lived his life fully and well. I cried as I read this remembering all the good dogs in my life.

    1. Ah yes. Cat-lover though I am, I've had some very good dogs in my life too, always remembered.

  6. What a treat to read this as well as any of Mary Oliver's poems.

    1. Absolutely! I don't know how she manages to be so wonderful every time.

  7. I’ve never read such a wonderful tribute to a pet! Mary Oliver left no stone unturned in the life of this pooch. It’s sad too- but wonderful as well.

  8. Oh how absolutely beautiful, Mary Oliver has captured the very essence of all that is great in dogs. I have three of my own and I can see so many similarities.

  9. Every dog has a unique character often moulded from his upbringing and by how well he settles with a family (or not). I always found that the more adventurous the owner is the happier the dog that loves being one of the pack again.

    1. I love BIG dogs. But for that you have to have a big yard, too.


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