Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Bertie branches out into literary criticism

Here at Human Granny's we have been been going through the cupboards and Gail found a poem, one she was fond of as a child but had forgotten all about:

Lone Dog

Irene McLeod

I'm a lean dog, a keen dog, a wild dog and lone,
I'm a rough dog, a tough dog, hunting on my own!
I'm a bad dog, a mad dog, teasing silly sheep;
I love to sit and bay the moon and keep fat souls from sleep.

I'll never be a lap dog, licking dirty feet,
A sleek dog, a meek dog, cringing for my meat.
Not for me the fireside, the well-filled plate,
But shut the door and sharp stone and cuff and kick and hate.

Not for me the other dogs, running by my side,
Some have run a short while, but none of them would bide.
O mine is still the lone trail, the hard trail, the best,
Wide wind and wild stars and the hunger of the quest. 

I'm sure you are eagerly awaiting my opinions on the literary merits of these three short verses.

Well it is my considered view that this Ms McLeod has set up what I believe is known as a 'false antithesis'. As anyone has met me will already be aware, it is quite possible both to be a lean, tough dog AND a lap dog. Oh and by the way, what is wrong with a well-filled plate?

Other than that, I guess the poem is fine.

Why is Gail saying perhaps stick to the science Bertie?


  1. Yeah Bertie ..... I'm lean and tough and I like a well filled plate. I like the fireside too and sitting on my Mum's lap. Not so sure about the lickin' of dirty feet. Haven't tried that one yet. Might have a go at it tonight, aye??

  2. LOL tough and a lap dog does for us Bertie. We think you are a dog of many talents. Carry on with the critique we say. Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. we think you are the epitome of both - the tough lap dog for sure....and we agree - what dog in it's right mind would pass up a plate of meat or a nice spot by the fire.

  4. Well, the dog written about certainly was NOT in it's right mind - after chasing sheep I'd definitely want the well-filled plate. Good find Bertie, I think you would have written a much more accurate poem though!
    Pippa :)

  5. Bertie..even muzzer thinks that poem is a bit sentimental and silly (and that is saying something.) Teka is a tough dog, but she surely loves a full plate and she sleeps under the covers on the big bed. Me?

    Ummmm...let's just say I am happy the way I am.


  6. My guys could never pass up the well-filled plate!

  7. Bertie, that poet sure didn't know about you when she wrote that poem.

  8. Maybe she wrote about a scottish Deerhound... think that could be difficult for such a guy to be a lapdog :o)

  9. Bertie per chance Ms. McLeod's issue was she did not know you!! Had she known you she would/should have written a tale of a WFT tail!!
    Hugs madi your

  10. Bertie I have never known you to just guess something is fine. Why Bertie you are always DEFINITIVE in your thoughts. Are you becoming addled with to much reading?
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot

  11. Bertie - Seems to me that you are the perfect companion when clearing out is underway.

  12. Bertie we have a feeling that poem is going to undergo some criticism
    Lily & Edward

  13. Bertie-
    We think your review is Spot On!

    Wyatt and Stanzie

  14. Bertie... we believe that YOU and your Scientific Background CERTAINLY gives you the RIGHT to critique this poem... and any others.
    We agree with you... while that dawg may march to a different tail way... YOU are much more Sophisticated in your lifestyle.

  15. Hari OM
    Methinks she were talking wolf...

    A scientific critique would demand that you make each line your experience. As this would possibly result in walkers' warnings of wild woofs in the Grampians, I suggest sticking to the purely artistic 'other than that...'!!! Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  16. Howdy Bertie. I, Stella, could never go without a full plate and hate to be alone and well, Rory as you know, is a total lap dog, so even though we like the poem, we are glad to be Home Dogs. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory
    P.S. I, Stella, have been known to tease silly sheep which did not make my mum happy at all!

  17. I totally agree with your viewpoint Bertie. I think you are the TOTAL package!!


  18. Clearly that poem was written before Bogville, where no dog runs alone, came about. And we agree with F&E that your scientific background leaves you perfectly qualified as a literary critic :)

  19. sheesh that writer knows nothing of course you can be lean and tough and a lap dog! And a full plate! Why every dog loves that. Hmmmph I doubt any dogs had input into this poem

    retro rover

  20. The fireside? The well-filled plate? What dog wouldn't want that? Perhaps a cat came in and changed the words?

    --Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats