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A Dog Has Died Analysis

Author: poem of Pablo Neruda Type: poem Views: 6

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My dog has died.

I buried him in the garden

next to a rusted old machine.

Some day I'll join him right there,

but now he's gone with his shaggy coat,

his bad manners and his cold nose,

and I, the materialist, who never believed

in any promised heaven in the sky

for any human being,

I believe in a heaven I'll never enter.

Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom

where my dog waits for my arrival

waving his fan-like tail in friendship.

Ai, I'll not speak of sadness here on earth,

of having lost a companion

who was never servile.

His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine

withholding its authority,

was the friendship of a star, aloof,

with no more intimacy than was called for,

with no exaggerations:

he never climbed all over my clothes

filling me full of his hair or his mange,

he never rubbed up against my knee

like other dogs obsessed with sex.

No, my dog used to gaze at me,

paying me the attention I need,

the attention required

to make a vain person like me understand

that, being a dog, he was wasting time,

but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,

he'd keep on gazing at me

with a look that reserved for me alone

all his sweet and shaggy life,

always near me, never troubling me,

and asking nothing.

Ai, how many times have I envied his tail

as we walked together on the shores of the sea

in the lonely winter of Isla Negra

where the wintering birds filled the sky

and my hairy dog was jumping about

full of the voltage of the sea's movement:

my wandering dog, sniffing away

with his golden tail held high,

face to face with the ocean's spray.

Joyful, joyful, joyful,

as only dogs know how to be happy

with only the autonomy

of their shameless spirit.

There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,

and we don't now and never did lie to each other.

So now he's gone and I buried him,

and that's all there is to it.

Translated, from the Spanish, by Alfred Yankauer


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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It does not matter to me what this Poem is or is not about. It is Elle\'s favourite poem and thats what gives it its meaning and life.

| Posted on 2010-12-05 | by a guest

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I believe that this is very much about himself, how he was once this "dog" and the world has changed him to be more cynical and bury his old self. Even though he envies what he was, he had to be rid of his old self.

| Posted on 2010-04-04 | by a guest

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The poem just signifies the protagonist's jealousy upon the dog's simplicity of life and happiness. The owner is crippled by this thought though completely aware of his dire views and situations in which his existence created or had created. It can also be seen in this poem that the dog symbolizes as his hope for a better 'optimistic' view in which he himself is not capable of doing.

| Posted on 2009-04-23 | by a guest

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