Another Reason Why I Don'T Keep A Gun In The House

The neighbors' dog will not stop barking.
He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark
that he barks every time they leave the house.
They must switch him on on their way out.

The neighbors' dog will not stop barking.
I close all the windows in the house
and put on a Beethoven symphony full blast
but I can still hear him muffled under the music,
barking, barking, barking,

and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,
his head raised confidently as if Beethoven
had included a part for barking dog.

When the record finally ends he is still barking,
sitting there in the oboe section barking,
his eyes fixed on the conductor who is
entreating him with his baton

while the other musicians listen in respectful
silence to the famous barking dog solo,
that endless coda that first established
Beethoven as an innovative genius.

by Billy Collins

Other poems of COLLINS (51)

Comments (43)

i love his poem.he is the best poem writer i know.
I did not know Billy Collins was a member- -raising eyebrow here. I will assume that this was a mistake and not an actuality. As far as the topic, he tapped a sensitive nerve here in me... but now a neighborhood has added a rooster that shrieks in the night so I wonder how Billy Collins would work that into Beethoven.... or the croaking noise I would love to hear soon. ;)
No, don't think that mr. Collins, will read what we write.. lol.. James McLain
Billy (since this appears as a Member Poem of the Day, perhaps you’ll read this) , this is one of the earliest poems by you I read and helped make me a fan of yours. It has the characteristic Collins’ conversational tone and wit, and how current it is in light of yet one more mass shooting. This might be one of your longest poem titles, yes? Appreciatively, GK
Excellent and ever so funny. I am so impressed that you didn't just walk out and buy a gun. Poor dog! It just needs a walk and some love. Fortunately our gun laws do not allow guns to be purchased here. Hope the neighbours move and no one complains about your loud music.
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