poetry critical

online poetry workshop


It is evening now, six hours
since we laid you in the ground,
dressed in your favorite pink sweater
to sleep for eternity
and in these silent, empty halls
where I work,
I still hear the "chunk"
of shovel biting earth;
feel the weight of each scoop
of sandy soil, and the grit on my fingers
as I smooth the corners of your new home,
two--by two--by four.
I speak your name at least
a thousand times--
my heart has risen to my tongue,
my body trembles
under this dark cloak
of grief.
Tomorrow, the sun will rise again,
the birds will croon
their tender tunes of hope,
and your noble eyes, sweet dog,
will forever shine
clear and bright.

20 Feb 08

Rated 9 (9) by 6 users.
Active (6): 9
Inactive (3): 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10

(define the words in this poem)
(50 more poems by this author)

Add A Comment:
Enter the following text to post as unknown: captcha


your words are lovely and sentimental.
i laughed a little when i found it was a dog,
you know, favourite pink sweater and all, i thought Molly
was a little girl...was it a toy breed?

welcome to pc, paul,
and thank you kindly for visiting my words.
i look forward to reading more of your work.
 — jenakajoffer

Awww, I hate these moments!  Thanks for sharing.  I was concerned that you were a child killer there for a few lines, thanks for clearing that up at the end!  

 — Isabelle5

I hate a cat named Molly - I accidentally ran over her and I still can't talk about it for very long.  
 — Isabelle5

A touching write. No real criticisms here.

I must ask Isabelle though, did you really run over a cat that you hated? I'm sure it was an accident like you said but I wouldn't tell anyone who knew you ran over it that you hated it to start with. People might not believe you.
 — nakedowl

nice poem.

consider -
l6 without 'do my'.

also, in l5, you can do without that 'and'.

in l17, consider changing 'the' to 'this'.

i wonder if you could change l19 to

tomorrow the sun will rise again.

and then continue as after the stop.

l22 is complicated. i would suggest removing 'sweet dog, not mine'.

and also 'forever' from l23.

even though a little cliché perhaps, i guess you need l24?

good poem.
 — varun

aww, that's so sad
 — unknown

I think she meant "have", not "hate" naked owl! Yes, I like this a lot. I did smile when I found out it was a dog, partly out of relief, as it spared me from over-empathizing (I've never had a dog). Very well written though.

 — unknown

Smugzy, I think you might be onto something with that but of course it would be 'had' not 'have' if she still has a hard time talking about it.
Isabelle, just so you know, I now feel bad that I found any humor in that at all.
 — nakedowl

Of course I didn't hate my cat!  I search all over for her!  It was my first day on a new job and I finally just had to go.  As I began to back out of the driveway, I felt a thud, a scream and then she ran, out from under the car, very strangely close to the ground, and around the corner of the house.  I found her there, panting and screaming, in the dirt.  We lived on a school ground at the time - the Principal was walking on campus and saw me.  He came over, bent down right in the dirt in his suit, put his hand on her head, said a prayer.  We watched as she took one deep breath and departed her flesh.  I was nearly hysterical, which isn't isn't a state to push me to.  The principal stayed with her while I went to get a box to carry her, to take her to the vet "just in case."  He lifted her into it and she fell right out the bottom, another thud, into the dirt.

I finally got her wrapped in a towel, got into my car and discovered that I was on empty.  I had to get to a gas station with a dead cat in my lap, tears running down my face...late for my new job!  It was the worst day.  I still cry for that poor cat.  The thing is, she was not a nice cat, she growled and bit and scratched.  But my daughters had each just gotten a kitten and Molly was insanely jealous.  I felt as if her last days were spent in abject misery, wishing she could rid the house of the interlopers.  I think she was depressed and that's why she didn't come when I called her.  

ohman...sorry, this all has nothing to do with your poem except the understanding of how hard it is to love small creatures that die.
 — Isabelle5

Thanks for the comments everyone. I'll consider your editing suggestions varun--thank you for making them--although "sweet dog" needs to stay so readers know the poem is about a dog.
 — PaulS

ok, you know by now..you love me or hate me, I'm sure.

This touched me more than you could know, my own little dog, Molly is 15..and I know our days are getting fewer...

..but regardless, and objectively, this is another beauty.  Again, a little editing
suggested.  The most important, to me, is done in the last stanza..with sweet dog being the last image.

It is evening ~
six hours you've laid in the ground,  
dressed in your favorite pink sweater,  
to sleep for eternity.    
I smooth the corners of your new home,  
two by two by four ~

still, I hear the "chunk" of the shovel
as it bites the earth,  
the weight of sandy soil
gritty on my fingers.  

My heart, risen to my tongue,    
speaks your name a thousand times.  

I tremble under the dark cloak of grief.  
Tomorrow, the sun will rise,  
birds will croon their tender tunes

and forever, clear and bright,
your noble eyes will shine~
sweet dog.
 — unknown

:-(  My condolences to you.  Nice, sweet, sentimental and tributory write to your beloved Molly.  I lost my 14 yr. old., Pennye, a white Persian kitty katt two years ago.  The love of my life.  She was all white, deaf and had a blue eye and an orange eye.  I miss her every day, but I got her ashes and sleep with 'em every night tucked safely under my chin.  She used sleep with her nose pressed into mine.  The previous owner was going to have her put to sleep because she was "stupid and ugly."  I thought she was the most beautiful little girl I'd ever laid eyes on.  Twelve years later... Good poem.  Welcome to P.C., Paul.  Peace.  
 — starr

I finally see my typo.  I did not hate my cat, I had that little feisty cat who died beneath my errant wheels.
 — Isabelle5

Thanks for the comments unkown and starr, I appreciate your interest.
 — PaulS

PaulS, come back!
 — Isabelle5

I have never had to bury an animal, but I can see how it would be such a sad affair. Beautiful words, Molly would be touched in a doggy way I'm sure.
 — mindbodysoul

Wow, so beautiful, so descriptive...so interesting to learn it was a pet! Must have been a very special animal...

So sweet. I loved it.
 — duffyj83

Any poem that moves me to tears to instantly needs to criticism. This is the pure transition if emotion to page - I admire your courage and stregnth. <3
 — WordsAndMe

    My dog... Lab Sam lost forever... on he went... a runner Sam, somewhere, some place good to him... he eats this morning like a hog...  six months old an a horse of a puppy... every time i use my phone i see him the day he broke his leg he looked at me with a look of ... why me... Labs are so smart he could open the door with his nose... he's gone now but he  open a place in my heart forever... j. g. smiles
 — goeszon

Thanks for the read duffyj83, WordsAndMe, goeszon--much appeciated.
 — PaulS

i have forgotten all my pedantic punctuation ideals, but it seems to me there are too many commas in the first stanza. perhaps remove them from the ends of lines 4 and 6? or perhaps not.

L12 should there only be one hyphen? i think, when you use two, it has a special purpose? i think they are used correctly in L14, but not here?

L16 - 18 please. just don't.

L19 - be consistent with capital usage.

L22 do you really need to include 'sweet dog'? i think i like the poem better alluding, without telling. or perhaps indicate the subject in the title, with the name.

i am sorry for you doggy. my housemate accidentally crushed my bunny a few months ago. i cried. she was my baby.
 — inutile

Thanks inutile, for reading this with a clear eye :)
 — PaulS

Very nice eulogy for a loved one. Our pets are family members and as such leave vacant spots in our hearts when they pass. It's sad, but our lives are enriched by having loved them for a while. Sometimes they're our best consolation.
 — JohnW

forgot to rate
 — JohnW

Lovely tribute.  Many sympathies for your loss.
 — sybarite

Wow! This is an old one.  JohnW and sybarite, thanks for your kind comments.
 — PaulS

 — psychofemale

The dimensions of the grave should have tweaked me but they didn't. I didn't see the dog thing coming. A good read.
 — BrianCowan

On the street, Molly can also be MDMA's slang term.
 — Cerulise