Happy as a Dog's Tail

by Anna Swir

English version by Czeslaw Milosz and Leonard Nathan
Original Language Polish

Happy as something unimportant
and free as a thing unimportant.
As something no one prizes
and which does not prize itself.
As something mocked by all
and which mocks at their mockery.
As laughter without serious reason.
As a yell able to outyell itself.
Happy as no matter what,
as any no matter what.

as a dog's tail.

-- from Talking to My Body, by Anna Swir / Translated by Czeslaw Milosz

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

I should start by apologizing for the unannounced hiatus in the poetry emails recently. Those of you who follow my personal Facebook page know that I celebrated a birthday last week, but it was followed quickly by the unexpected death of a beloved family dog named Koda. He was part of our family for nine years. Koda was a rescued dog with significant behavioral issues that made day-to-day life challenging for us. But he was also a very loving and loyal companion. Both my wife and I formed a strong bond with Koda, made stronger because of his special needs and the challenges they created in our life.

My wife and I needed time to grieve and celebrate and bless Koda's passing.

...And I thought this poem by Anna Swir would be a sweet, simple eulogy -- a reminder of how happiness is so perfectly embodied by a dog's wagging tail.

Give your loved ones (those with a tail and those who are tailless) a big hug today.

Recommended Books: Anna Swir

Talking to My Body The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy Dancing with Joy: 99 Poems

Happy as a Dog's