Thursday, August 21, 2008
Yes, they're definitely here. The heat's not so bad, but the air is soggy as a dish rag and leaves me feeling about as limp. It was so humid on the trail this morning that I was ready to lie down and take a nap on the poison ivy. Instead I went to visit a friend and spent a couple of hours sitting on her deck talking with her and her dogs. Then I went home and took a nap. After that I found the energy to spend some time sitting on my porch with my dog.
You might call such behavior lazy. I prefer to think of it as living in harmony with nature.
I couldn't find any good poems about dog days, but here's a lovely sad one you may already know, dedicated to Laika, the first astronaut:
So first the faithful dog will go
and after it a pig or ass
through the black grass will beat a track
along it will the first man steal
who with iron hand will smother
on his glass brow a drop of fear
so first the dog honest mongrel
which has never abandoned us
dreaming of earthly lamps and bones
will fall asleep in its whirling kennel
its warm blood boiling drying away ...(more)
From "First the Dog," by Zbigniew Herbert (1924-1998), translated by Czeslaw Milosz and Peter Dale Scott. Text from Poetry Foundation.
Canis Major from the Uranometria atlas by Johann Bayer, 1603. Image from Wikimedia Commons