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Homer's Seeing-Eye Dog Analysis



Author: Poetry of William Matthews Type: Poetry Views: 235

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Most of the time he worked, a sort of sleep

with a purpose, so far as I could tell.

How he got from the dark of sleep

to the dark of waking up I'll never know;

the lax sprawl sleep allowed him

began to set from the edges in,

like a custard, and then he was awake,

me too, of course, wriggling my ears

while he unlocked his bladder and stream

of dopey wake-up jokes. The one

about the wine-dark pee I hated instantly.

I stood at the ready, like a god

in an epic, but there was never much

to do. Oh now and then I'd make a sure

intervention, save a life, whatever.

But my exploits don't interest you

and of his life all I can say is that

when he'd poured out his work

the best of it was gone and then he died.

He was a great man and I loved him.

Not a whimper about his sex life --

how I detest your prurience --

but here's a farewell literary tip:

I myself am the model for Penelope.

Don't snicker, you hairless moron,

I know so well what faithful means

there's not even a word for it in Dog,

I just embody it. I think you bipeds

have a catchphrase for it: "To thine own self

be true, . . ." though like a blind man's shadow,

the second half is only there for those who know

it's missing. Merely a dog, I'll tell you

what it is: " . . . as if you had a choice."





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