When Great Dogs Fight

He came from a dead-end world of under breed,
A mongrel in his look and his deed.

His head sagged lower than his spine, his jaws
Spooned wretchedly, his timid little claws
Were gnarls. A fear lurked in his rheumy eye
When dwarfing pedigrees paraded by.

Often he saw the bulldog, arrogant and grim,
Beside the formidable mastiff; and sight of them
Devouring chunks of meat with juices red
Needled pangs of hunger in his belly and head.

Sometimes he wimpered at the ponderous gate
Until the regal growls shook the estate;
Then he would scurry up the avenue,
Singeing the hedges with his buttercup hue.

The spool of luckless days unwound, and the

Izzard cur, accurst dogs and men,
Heard yelps of rage beyond the iron fence
And saw the jaws and claws of violence.

He padded through the gate leaned ajar
Maneuvered the slashing arcs of war,
Then pounced upon the bone;and winged feet
Bore him into the refuge of the street.

A sphinx haunts every age and zone:
When great dogs fight, the small dog gets the bone.



1. My interpretation of this poem is that a stray dog is living on the streets.

2. Some figuritive language in this poem is "and winged feet". That is an example of a metaphor.

3. My poem does not fit a certain catagorie.

4.The mood of my poem is very eerie.

5. I chose this poem because I liked the way it was written and the words it uses.




Be afraid - Bangkok
Be afraid - Bangkok

Picture of stray dog.
6. I chose this picture because it symbolizes the dog in the poem.

7. The author is Melvin B. Tolson. Other poems he has wrote include.... Black Crispus Attucks taught, Us how to die, and Uttererd the verticle.
He was born on 1898 and died on 1966.