December 2, 2011
This weekend, our family is expanding to include a Newfoundland puppy! Yes, a lot of work, having a puppy under our care. Yes, we’re already a plenty-busy household. And yes, don’t I have a manuscript I’m working on, plus freelance work, too? The way I see it, no better time to bring some good dog energy into the mix.
And Newfs are fabulous. Large and fabulous. Nana, the Darlings’ nurse in Peter Pan, was a Newf said to have been modeled on J.M. Barrie’s own Landseer, Luath (pictured here). Boatswain, a Newfoundland, was the beloved pet memorialized in Lord Byron’s “Epitaph to a Dog” (though I’d rather not talk about a dog’s death here). Emily Dickinson had a Newf named Carlo (named after the pointer of St. John Rivers in Jane Eyre). All of this said NOT to put any pressure on our sweet pup. We’ll enjoy her even if she’s more about slobber than writerly inspiration (though, hey, if she’s able to channel, I’m open to it).
I considered posting today a Carlo-inspired Emily Dickinson poem, so I did a little searching. Came across this classroom fun instead, from the Emily Dickinson Museum’s website: Carlo’s Poem Quiz, where students of poetry can read from Dickinson’s riddle poems and guess what she’s describing. You’ll also find links to Dickinson’s poetry and other Dickinson-related reading on the museum’s site as well. I, for one, would like to make the trip out to Amherst to visit sometime soon. I wonder if dogs are allowed?
By the way, looks like Saturday, Dec. 10, is an Emily Dickinson birthday celebration and museum fund-raiser at Amherst College, for anyone else who might be out that way. (Emily’s 181st birthday.) More info here.
This week’s Poetry Friday roundup is being hosted by Carol’s Corner. Wag on over!