#449: My brother once said that his dear dead dog . . .

Welcome to day eleven of sonnet storm 2023. Thirty days, thirty sonnets.

Here’s my first little sonnet experiment, a sonnet in iambic petameter (with a fudge here and there) that does not rhyme. We call that blank verse. Ooh, but there’s a rhyming couplet at the end—a button. Now we’re cooking. And the NaPoWriMo suggestion for today was a poem based on or consisting of some overheard conversation. I don’t remember if my brother was speaking to me or to someone else when he said the following—but that’s okay. If fiction is a kind of artful lying—I think poetry often serves up the same opportunity. We might lie in a poem just because it makes for a better poem. In yesterday’s poem I claimed not to like poetry that I couldn’t make sense of. Not entirely true 100% of the time. I love Gertrude Stein, for example, and she is the queen of stop making sense. And as I’m reading this book of sonnets by Robert Thomas, I often find myself scratching my head, despite the fact that I totally enjoyed the experience of the poem. So, here’s a poem that may contain a lie, but otherwise, represents my honest position on a big topic. 


My brother once said that his dear dead dog
Was in a better place, some dog Heaven, 
And he’s not even the religious one. 
And I didn’t say a word, not this time.
No one is in a better place if dead,
And that is my definitive answer. 
But I must say that I like the idea
That animals could have an afterlife.
Outside of the pee and the poo and barf,
Which they don’t do out of disrespect, spite,
They haven’t done anything at all wrong, 
Are blameless, without sin of any kind. 
Heaven does not exist, that I’m aware,
If it did, people don’t deserve to go there. 

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

One thought on “#449: My brother once said that his dear dead dog . . .

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