Dog Songs

Mary Oliver - Author

Hardcover | $26.95 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9781594204784 | 144 pages | 08 Oct 2013 | The Penguin Press | 5.00 x 7.51in | 18 - AND UP
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A collection of new and favorite poems, celebrating the dogs that have enriched the poets world

Beloved by her readers, special to the poets own heart, Mary Olivers dog poems offer a special window into her world. Dog Songs collects some of the most cherished poems together with new works, offering a portrait of Olivers relationship to the companions that have accompanied her daily walks, warmed her home, and inspired her work. To be illustrated with images of the dogs themselves, the subjects will come to colorful life here.

These are poems of love and laughter, heartbreak and grief. In these pages we visit with old friends, including Olivers well-loved Percy, and meet still others. Throughout, the many dogs of Olivers life emerge as fellow travelers, but also as guides, spirits capable of opening our eyes to the lessons of the moment and the joys of nature and connection.

Dog Songs is a testament to the power and depth of the human-animal exchange, from an observer of extraordinary vision.


The first time Percy came back
he was not sailing on a cloud.
He was loping along the sand as though
he had come a great way.
“Percy,” I cried out, and reached to him—

those white curls—
but he was unreachable. As music
is present yet you can’t touch it.
“Yes, it’s all different,” he said.
“You’re going to be very surprised.”
But I wasn’t thinking of that. I only
wanted to hold him. “Listen,” he said.
“I miss that too.
And now you’ll be telling stories

of my coming back
and they won’t be false, and they won’t be true,
but they’ll be real.”
And. then, as he used to, he said, “Let’s go!”
And we walked down the beach together.

How It Begins

How It Is with Us, and How It Is with Them

If You Are Holding This Book

Every Dog’s Story

The Storm (Bear)


Luke’s Junkyard Song


Her Grave

Benjamin, Who Came from Who Knows Where

The Dog Has Run Off Again

Holding On to Benjamin

The Poetry Teacher





Little Dog’s Rhapsody in the Night

Times Passes


Percy Wakes Me

The Sweetness of Dogs

Percy Speaks While I Am Doing Taxes

Percy, Waiting for Ricky

Percy (2002-2009)

For I Will Consider My Dog Percy

The First Time Percy Came Back

Ricky Talks About Talking

The Wicked Smile

The Traveler

Show Time

A Bad Day


How a Lot of Us Become Friends

You Never Know Where a Conversation Is Going to Go

Dog Talk



The New York Times
Dog a sweet golden retriever of a book that curls up with the reader.”

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