Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: The Pet

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

This week?s poem by the late Constance Hunting, a Maine poet and editor, describes a monkey she has trained to sit and write. What the monkey represents, she is not here to explain, of course. All we know is that she admires the ?strange marks? the monkey makes, and that the two of them work together.

The Pet by Constance Hunting

O say see
look at my lit
tle monkey
she so puzzled and charming
with that almost human frown
she sits in her lit
tle chair
at her little table
she holds a pen
she is writing
making strange
marks on the white
petalled paper
I am very proud
of her
she is coming 
along very nicely
but sometimes
chatters more
than I prefer
and would tear up the page
chew it to bits
did I not interfere
always calmly and stroke
her down

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2000 Constance Hunting. Reprinted from Natural Things: Collected Poems 1969-1998, The National Poetry Foundation, 2000, by permission of The National Poetry Foundation. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at mainepoetlaureate@gmail.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.