My paws are bent leaning on

warm leg, there on my day couch

soft darkness slouches round my

limbs no cat meow dare rouse

my slumber breath upon a

forest stump sprayed with fresh perfume.

©2017 Ontheland

I recently read  Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis, an amazing Canadian novel about dogs who have been bestowed human intelligence (as well as their own).  One of these dogs recites poems that inspired me to write this one.  As the author explains in an end note, the genre was invented by François Caradec for Oulipo, a group of writers creating meaning using constrained writing techniques.

This type of poem has meaning for both humans and animals and when read aloud, includes an auditory version of an animal’s name.  The dog featured in my photo and poem is ‘Bentley’.  When you read the poem out loud you will hear his name.

In the novel, fifteen such poems include a hidden dog’s name.  Here is one for example:

The light that moves is not the light.

The light that stays is not the light.

The true light rose countless sleeps ago.

It rose, even in the mouth of birds.

from Fifteen Dogs, by André  Alexis, p.34

∗Rosie is the name discovered when you read the poem out loud.

12 thoughts on “Slumber

    1. Thank you Annika. The book is excellent…about human existence, dog culture, relationships between humans and dogs, language and so on. The book and author have won prestigious prizes. I chose to read it as one on the short list for an event on our public radio (CBC) called Canada Reads.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a very unique book…a story with an incredible premise…Hermes and Apollo decide to do an experiment by giving 15 dogs human intelligence…a fascinating tale…one of the dogs creates poems and they are sprinkled throughout the book.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Vashti. All those adjectives apply. The book is about humans as much as animals but I suspect it would be most interesting to those who know a dog or two and wondered about how they think and act.

      Liked by 1 person

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