High Coo – Homage to Paul Zimmer and Dog Music

Singing Dog Study at Ancient Origins

Paul Zimmer (born 1934 in Canton, Ohio) is an American poet, and editor. Zimmer graduated from Kent State University, directed the university press at Pittsburg and helped found the Pitt Poetry Series. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Zimmer_(poet)

Paul Zimmer @ pennyspoetry.wikia.com

Paul now describes himself as “an old poet” and wrote this poem:

Dog Music

by Paul Zimmer

Amongst dogs are listeners and singers.
My big dog sang with me so purely,
puckering her ruffled lips into an O,
beginning with small, swallowing sounds
like Coltrane musing, then rising to power
and resonance, gulping air to continue—
her passion and sense of flawless form—
singing not with me, but for the art of dogs.
We joined in many fine songs—’Stardust,’
‘Naima,’ ‘The Trout,’ ‘My Rosary,’ ‘Perdido.’

She was a great master and died young,
leaving me with unrelieved grief,
her talents known to only a few.

Now I have a small dog who does not sing,
but listens with discernment, requiring
skill and spirit in my falsetto voice.
I sing her name and words of love
andante, con brio, vivace, adagio.
Sometimes she is so moved she turns

to place a paw across her snout,
closes her eyes, sighing like a girl
I held and danced with years ago.

But I am a pretender to dog music.
The true strains rise only from
the rich, red chambers of a canine heart,
these melodies best when the moon is up,
listeners and singers together or
apart, beyond friendship and anger,
far from any human imposter—
ballads of long nights lifting
to starlight, songs of bones, turds,
conquests, hunts, smells, rankings,
things settled long before our birth.

My humble homage haiku: Dog Song for Paul Zimmer

Canine cantata

a dog provides the music

for lush poetry


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