Apr 09 2014
Happy as a Dog’s Tail
by Anna Swir
English version by Czeslaw Milosz and Leonard Nathan
Happy as something unimportant
and free as a thing unimportant.
As something no one prizes
and which does not prize itself.
As something mocked by all
and which mocks at their mockery.
As laughter without serious reason.
As a yell able to outyell itself.
Happy as no matter what,
as any no matter what.
as a dog’s tail.
— from Talking to My Body, by Anna Swir / Translated by Czeslaw Milosz
/ Photo by Ivan M. Granger /
I should start by apologizing for the unannounced hiatus in the poetry emails recently. Those of you who follow my personal Facebook page know that I celebrated a birthday last week, but it was followed quickly by the unexpected death of a beloved family dog named Koda. He was part of our family for nine years. Koda was a rescued dog with significant behavioral issues that made day-to-day life challenging for us. But he was also a very loving and loyal companion. Both my wife and I formed a strong bond with Koda, made stronger because of his special needs and the challenges they created in our life.
My wife and I needed time to grieve and celebrate and bless Koda’s passing.
…And I thought this poem by Anna Swir would be sweet, simple eulogy — a reminder of how happiness is so perfectly embodied by a dog’s wagging tail.
Give your loved ones (those with a tail and those who are tailless) a big hug today.