Apr 09 2014

Anna Swir – Happy as a Dog’s Tail

Published by at 9:16 am under Poetry

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.

Happy
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.

Anna Swir, Anna Swir poetry, Secular or Eclectic poetry Anna Swir

Poland (1909 – 1984) Timeline
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More poetry by Anna Swir

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Anna Swir – Happy as a Dog’s Tail”

  1. Davidon 09 Apr 2014 at 12:56 pm

    as sweet a eulogy as I’ve ever read….sorry about your loss and just a “perfect” selection to “remind” us of how wonderful our dog family members are!

  2. Nasseron 09 Apr 2014 at 11:30 pm

    Dear Ivan,

    It was very sweet piece of poetry showing how deeply a relation and affection can grow.

  3. Pegon 10 Apr 2014 at 9:14 am

    Koda is such a beautiful dog. Perfect poem to celebrate Koda´s life with your family and to celebrate Koda’s new life adventure.

  4. Eileen Copeland Gallagheron 11 Apr 2014 at 7:04 am

    My beloved pet and companion of 12 years, an apricot mini-poodle, Honey, died cuddled next to me in bed early morning April 8th. This little poem was beautiful and comforting. Her wagging tail and loving, sweet nature will always be with me — though I’m reminded of a child saying: “It’s better to love someone with skin on!”
    There’ll never be another Honey, but I’ll be adopting another little dog soon.

  5. Gloria Leeon 11 Apr 2014 at 7:52 am

    Koda looks such a beautiful and regal presence. Our dogs lives are all too brief. And they are so missed.

  6. janet bradleyon 13 Apr 2014 at 6:10 am

    Dear Ivan,

    My heart goes out to you and your family. The animals in our lives are part of our families. I have never forgotten any of my animal friends. I consider my relationships with them one of the greatest gifts that I have ever received or will receive.

    Somewhere there is another little 4 legged lost soul waiting for you when you are ready.

    Koda was beautiful and I am sure has left so many beautiful memories.