My Bearded Collie

Poets post their works-in-progress here for crit and commentary. We want poets who are serious about getting their work published.
Post Reply
Message
Author
BobBradshaw
Posts: 1839
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

My Bearded Collie

#1 Post by BobBradshaw » 01 Apr 2021, 20:33

My Bearded Collie


I brush my bearded collie’s fur
the way I brushed my daughter’s
flowing hair, tenderly.

Perhaps Sheri is too like me. Does she feel
she's never lived up to her potential,
years lost like unpublished poetry?

My sheepdog has never seen a lamb
though I imagine her
chasing after them in the park,

her deep barking at shadows
the result of her shaggy fur
obscuring her eyes.

She’s most content lying in grass,
gazing up for hours, as if admiring
the sky’s endless sheared wool.

Her large eyes studying me
remind me of a long-haired
professor of mine,

a shy young man reciting Keats
to the winsome female students
gathered up front at his classes.

Or like the overweight poet laureate
of our college, who ambled along
like a bear who’s entered

an abandoned Klondike cabin,
following its instincts
the way miners follow a vein of gold

or a poet follows a line of verse.
I think of Coleridge conjuring up words
as he strays off path.

Careful not to block William’s straighter path,
he talks, talks, talks, throwing ideas
at William the way a sheepdog

shaking after a bath
flings off beads of radiant water.
Sheri gazes at me, about to interrupt

but notices me lost
in wool gathering, Kubla Khan on my lap
as I invest another evening,

eyes half closed, revising a poem.
Where is my Mariner
after decades of work?

How do I justify my last 30 years?
Maybe they're just bungled lines
searching for a perfect close.

I have no promises to keep tonight
and yawn, stroking Sheri’s head.
Drowsy, she settles by the fireplace

and its panting flames.
I watch as her left paw twitches,
nuzzled by a lamb. Behind a veil
of fur, she counts sheep.

Michael (MV)
Posts: 1812
Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 04:57

Re: My Bearded Collie

#2 Post by Michael (MV) » 02 Apr 2021, 13:38

Hi Bob,

I came
I read
I workshopped

^^ imagine that in Latin to the cadence of the famous Julius Caesar phrase:
"Veni, vidi, vici"

And, ever noticed the semblance of
workshop & worship

Both of which I hope soon to share about this tour de force,

when reveni


TGiGF ☮✝️ -- Michael

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1839
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: My Bearded Collie

#3 Post by BobBradshaw » 06 Apr 2021, 08:48

Thx, Michael. I look forward to your workshopping.

Michael (MV)
Posts: 1812
Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 04:57

Re: My Bearded Collie

#4 Post by Michael (MV) » 09 Apr 2021, 18:01

Hi Bob,

The bearded bard and his bearded collie poem 🐕

The bearded bard boards his bearded collie - but that's for another poem 🙂


I like the free-association, cross-referencing that surfaced for me during my reading.


A bit of time here to share workshopping:


1/ "I brush my bearded collie’s fur
the way I brushed my daughter’s
flowing hair, tenderly."

as

I brush my bearded collie’s coat
with gentle strokes, the way
I brushed my daughter’s flowing locks.


2/
"years lost like unpublished poetry?

To humor the tone:

dog years lost like unpublished poetry?

dog-days lost like unpublished poetry?


3/ "Careful not to block William’s"

Although you have mentioned his literary collaborator, Coleridge, most readers probably still won't readily know that's Wordsworth.

Careful not to block Wordsworth's

^^ even then a quick search of "Wordsworth" will yield the meaning of the allusion.

By then, the second reference is ready for a first-name basis:

Careful not to block Wordsworth’s straighter path,
he talks, talks, talks, throwing ideas
at William the way a sheepdog

shaking after a bath
flings off beads of radiant water.

^^ in subsequence, "William" does not appear twice in close proximity.

^^ I like the analogy of brainstorming(anima) with the animal's habitual reflex. The "radiant"(illumination) subtlety refines the metaphor, without getting too fancy - just "the right word", imaginatively, like Coleridge, like Bob.

I hope to return with the more I would like to share, but "miles to go . .


😎

Michael (MV)

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1839
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: My Bearded Collie

#5 Post by BobBradshaw » 11 Apr 2021, 06:31

Thanks, Michael. I appreciate your workshopping ideas.

meenas17
Posts: 801
Joined: 23 Mar 2014, 11:27

Re: My Bearded Collie

#6 Post by meenas17 » 11 Apr 2021, 20:19

Bob, a wonderful poem,
Michael has given some suggestions and will workshop further.
Waiting for his take on this poem,
meenas17

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1839
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: My Bearded Collie

#7 Post by BobBradshaw » 11 Apr 2021, 20:32

Thanks, Meena

Michael (MV)
Posts: 1812
Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 04:57

Re: My Bearded Collie

#8 Post by Michael (MV) » 02 May 2021, 19:57

To add:

"I have no promises to keep tonight"

^^ I admire how seamlessly this allusion to Frost's famous poem about stopping by the snowy woods articulates in your poem - so seamless, I ask the writer:

"Were you consciously alluding to Frost?"

Moreover, this poem overall is a fine example of literary allusion at play without calling attention to itself. Instead, quietly content with being in sturdy service to the poem's intent & content.

Also, in general, I usually like dog poems. Have you seen a movie from about 3 years ago titled, "Alpha"?

The old dog barks backwards without getting up;
I can remember when he was pup.

^^ another dog poem - a micro-model poem I carry with me like a poet's best friend -

this closed- couplet poem by Robert Frost is also symbolic like yours. Bob.


🐕 Michael (MV) 😎

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1839
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: My Bearded Collie

#9 Post by BobBradshaw » 03 May 2021, 02:51

Thanks, Michael. You say the kindest things.

Yeh, I was alluding to Frost, but I didn’t preplan it... it just kinda fell into place. Thx for noticing. You’re the 1st to mention it.

Yeh, I love dog poems too. I wish there were more cat poems... but they’re much harder to write. So they’re like meteorites on a cloudy night, hard to find.

Post Reply