Fifteen Dogs and Writing Poetry


Two men siphoning sweet water

On a steaming Thai day vying to be the one

To suck the final dregs from nature’s cup.

I just finished reading the Giller Prize winning book Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis. The author traces the life and death experiences of fifteen dogs given human thought and speech capabilites by the gods Hermes and Apollo as a result of a bet the two mythical Greek brothers make in a modern bar in downtown Toronto.


Using the Caradec pattern Alexis writes poems where the name of the dog is not legible but can be heard when the poem is read aloud. For example here is Alexis’ poem for the dog Prince. 

Longing to be sprayed (the green snake writhing in his master’s hand)

Back and forth into that stream

Jump, rinse: coat slick with soap. 

If you read it out loud you will hear the dog Prince’s name at the end of the word jump connected to the next word rinse.  

The poem that starts this blog post is one I wrote for my husband Dave using the same  pattern. Can you find his name? He and his friend Hans were having a drink in Phuket Thailand. (check out the words day and vying)

Here’s a poem in the same pattern using my name MaryLou. It is about me setting off on a motorcycle trip in Taiwan. riding-with-dirk-in-tawain

Putting my fate in the hands of my cousin Dirk

Will I be merry, lose my life

Will I be hurt, lose my inhibitions

I buckle my helmet and we fly.

( check out the words merry and lose)

Can you write a poem in the same form?  I’d love to hear it. Post it in the comment section below. 

Other posts…….

King David Was A Rapist

The Poetry of Boxing

 A New Poet


Filed under Books, Poetry

2 responses to “Fifteen Dogs and Writing Poetry

  1. for my dogs Luke and Zak:

    Surrendered to a double bill
    At the Princess in Waterloo.
    Crazy busker strumming the blues,
    A crow joins the evening murder.


  2. Thanks for this. I found references to both your dogs. Well done.


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