My dear American friends, I’m with you. Over here the news is on the radio all day. We are down. We want to understand. We don’t. We are with you. I will withstand any incentive to satire today. This is horrendous and inconceivable. And I think Allan’s math is correct.

I hope this poem will be a consolation for you. You probably know it. It was written by your own Billy Collins, one of my favorite poets:

Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep a Gun in the House

The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking.

He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark

that he barks every time they leave the house.

They must have switched him on on their way out.

The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking.

I close all the windows in the house

and put on a Beethoven symphony full blast

but I can still hear him muffled under the music,

barking, barking, barking,

and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,

his head raised confidently as if Beethoven

had included a part for barking dog.

When the record finally ends he is still barking,

sitting there in the oboe section barking,

his eyes fixed on the conductor who is

entreating him with his baton

while the other musicians listen in respectful

silence to the famous barking dog solo,

that endless coda that first established

Beethoven as an innovative genius.

(From Sailing Alone Around the Room, New and Selected poems,Random House 2002)

Friend of life and beauty and foe of spoilers of life and beauty. Golden marriage. Grandfather. Pianist and micro poet. Dutch, European.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store