The Blog has been my companion for six months, padding after me in the house, wanting his daily rations of nourishment and attention. His tail thumps on the bed when I wake up in the morning, and he happily guides me to my desk, where I feed him and give him a scratch behind the ears. Good Blog.

When we set out for a walk, the Blog is hard to keep at heel. He’s rushing ahead to sniff at every corner, to sense where the other blogs have been. In the weedy, run-down park, where you can just glimpse a corner of the Parthenon through the trees on winter days, he is full of joy—running after the circling pigeons, rolling in wild chamomile, discovering new lines of thought, scraps of poems. For a few months I have experienced everything partly through the eyes and nose of the Blog. What will the Blog make of this? Could I feed this to the Blog? Will this make it thrive?
The Blat, too, has been a companion. It sleeps in the sun, but prowls at night. It wants to be let out, it wants to be let in—crying in its shrill Siamese voice. Pay attention to me, it says—I have teeth, I have claws. Stroke me the wrong way and I will shock you with my electricity. Stroke me the right way and I will purr. Its smiles are disembodied, like something out of Lewis Carroll. Its hisses, too, seem to spit out of the pure aether.
The Blog clicks behind me now as it walks—tick, talk, tick, talk. Its nails need clipping. It needs its shots. It needs to be taken to the groomers for its shaggy and musty coat. Its easy to forget it isn’t really a domestic animal, though. Sure, it shared the house for a while. But it was feral once. It can fend for itself. It’s a social animal—it runs in packs. It doesn’t need a master. It will find a new home. Goodbye, Blog. I'll miss you. Good Blog.

Originally Published: February 29th, 2008

A. E. (Alicia) Stallings studied classics in Athens, Georgia and has lived since 1999 in Athens, Greece. She has published three books of poetry, Archaic Smile (1999), which won the Richard Wilbur Award; Hapax (2000); and Olives (2012). Her new verse translation of Lucretius (in rhyming fourteeners!), The Nature of Things,...

  1. February 29, 2008
     Mary Meriam


  2. February 29, 2008

    I'm sad to see you go. It was a pleasure reading what you had to say about forms and rhyme. Your voice was interesting. Hard to believe it's been six months. You kept me reading.

  3. March 1, 2008
     Susan McLean

    I too will miss hearing your thoughts on poetry and form. I hope that among the new bloggers will be at least one who engages with those issues regularly and in a positive way.

  4. March 2, 2008
     Alicia (AE)

    Thanks for reading!

  5. March 2, 2008
     Don Share

    Don't forget that you can get an additional fix of Alica in the Q&A section of the March 2008 issue of Poetry, the online version of which is just a click away from Harriet! She even elaborates there on some of the blog comments folks made here about sonnets... Sorry, but I couldn't resist the plug!

  6. March 2, 2008
     Steve Mackin

    You're welcome. Thanks for writing.

  7. March 3, 2008
     Tim Upperton

    Thank you, Don, for the reference to Alicia's poems, and the accompanying Q & A. The most effective riposte to the declaration that a form such as the sonnet is dead is to write one that is obviously alive. I found both these poems delightful and instructive. Take the delight away - as I think Christian Bok does - and the instruction one is left with is intriguing, sometimes, but not more than that. It's easy to dismiss the consolatory power of poetry as a placebo that helps maintain the status quo. It's this power that first drew me to poetry, and though I hope I'm a more sophisticated reader of it than I was then, it's what keeps me reading it.
    By the way, Alicia's lines, "Every night it rises like a fish / Out of the deep" reminded me not so much of Bishop's poem as the end of Plath's "Mirror": "In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman / Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish."

  8. March 4, 2008
     Robin Kemp

    Thanks for making it a fun and worthwhile read, Alicia! Hope to see you soon.

  9. March 5, 2008

    Alicia, wonderful having you as a presence on Harriet and virtually meeting you. Very soon.

  10. March 6, 2008
     Paul Connolly

    I'm sorry to see the blog go. I've only just discovered it! But I shall enjoy perusing the archives. Xairete from Canada!