NaPoWriMo Day 29 – To Rusty

Today, I challenge you to write a paean to the stalwart hero of your household: your pet. Sing high your praises and tell the tale of Kitty McFluffleface’s ascension of Mt. Couch. Let us hear how your intrepid doggo bravely answers the call to adventure whenever the leash jingles.

If you don’t have a pet, perhaps you know one or remember one who deserves to be immortalized in verse. For inspiration, I direct you to a selection from an 18th-century poem by Christopher Smart, Jubilate Agno, in which the poet’s praise for his cat ranges from “For he is docile and can learn certain things” all the way up to “For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and glaring eyes.”

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A new addition to the family

is Rusty, my sister’s cockapoo –

He’s super cute and super funny

He’s super affectionate too

He is bright and chirpy

And loves to nuzzle

All this in return for only a cuddle

You’d think he’s lazy

and he’s sleeping
But he’s really just giving you company

Lying on your lap while you’re reading

The only time he gets a little cranky
Is if he can’t see you or if the doorbell’s ringing

Then he’ll hide under the couch

And not make a sound

He’ll crawl out from his hiding place

When he’s absolutely sure the coast is clear

And he’ll wait for you to kiss his face

Then he’ll wag his tail and show no fear

He leaps like a rabbit and prances like a colt
When you take him on your morning run

But if he’s frightened, you can be sure he’ll bolt

Then he’ll find a bush to hide

And stay there until he is found

Rusty is the King of the household

with everybody at his beck and call
Except the squirrels in the garden and those things with wings

‘He thinks they’re all out to get him,’ my sister says with a laugh

“the shopping bags, the neighbor’s schnoodle and even my pink woolen scarf!”

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Our featured resource for the day is a two-fer: (1) these tips on how to memorize a poem, and (2) these tips on how to recite one out loud. It’s rather out of fashion right now, but I grew up memorizing lots of poems. Memorizing and reciting favorite poems is a very good way to internalize the rhythms and sounds of poetry (which helps in generating your own poems), but that’s not all memorizing and reciting can do. Memorized poems make good companions. Bored while doing dishes? Treat yourself to a dramatic recitation! Strangely, I find that I don’t get tired of reciting the poems that I’ve memorized – each time I do, I can play around with emphasizing different words, hasten or slow different lines, and consider the effect.

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