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Book Review: Doggerel: Poems About Dogs, Edited by Carmela Ciuraru

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DoggerelDoggerel: Poems About Dogs (New York: Everyman’s Library; 2003) is a collection of poems about dogs and people and (especially) relationships between the two.

Before readers turn away and throw up, just let me say that editor Carmela Ciuraru did not collect the regular maudlin slop one expects from sympathy cards, pet magazines, tabloid newspapers and so forth. No Sir! and No Ma’am! Doggerel is high-octane, contemplative maudlin slop such as one expects from accomplished poets. Let me drop a few names to make my point: Siegfried Sassoon; Rudyard Kipling; Dorothy Parker; Geoffrey Chaucer; Alexander Pope; Matthew Arnold; W.H. Auden; Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle; William Shakespeare; Ogden Nash; Anne Sexton, and dozens more. So it is that every page in Doggerel: Poems About Dogs delights both dog lovers and lovers of poetry alike.

Those who like to read more deeply than samplers like Doggerel allow will appreciate the Table of Contents, the list of Acknowledgements, and the Index of Authors. If you enjoy fine poetry, if you love dogs, if you like the Everyman’s Library, you should get this pocket-sized book and read it. The experience will leave you sad-eyed, gnawing your slippers in ecstasy.

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