26 January 2009

Dogs and children

A second post with a dog connection today. I've just been at Desert Blues: readings by Patience Agbabi, Melanie Challenger and David Constantine, and music by the Adriano Adewale Group. Constantine read, among other things[1], from his translation of Brecht's Children's Crusade:
In Poland that January [1940]
A dog was caught, it had
A cardboard round its soggy neck
With writing on it that said

"Please help us, we are lost.
We can’t find the way anymore
We are fifty-five. This dog will lead
You to where we are

And if you can’t come, drive him away
Don’t shoot at him, he is
The only living creature
Who knows the way to us."

The writing was a child’s
Peasants read it aloud.
That was a year a half ago
The dog hungered and died.


1. One of the other poems Constantine read from Nine Fathom Deep was Pity. He introduced it saying "I had the notion that if there were more monsters and hybrids left we might have a better idea of what we were doing". See Montaigne, On a monster-child (Essays, book 2)

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