We looked at the poems The Behaviour of Dogs and Flying to Belfast,

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We looked at the poems The Behaviour of Dogs and Flying to Belfast

We looked at the poems The Behaviour of Dogs and Flying to Belfast,

1977 by Craig Raine. In Raine's poem The Behaviour of dogs he

describes to us the many different breeds and types of dog that there

are in the world and what effect they have on our lives. In the poem

Craig Raine describes dogs in a different way than we would normally

think of them to make us see them in unfamiliar ways. To make the

dogs' actions easier for us to imagine he uses imagery of things we

see in everyday life and on television but that we don't usually

associate with dogs, "Their feet are four-leafed clovers that leave a

jigsaw in the dust".

This start of the poem is describing dogs' feet. Saying the dog's feet

are four-leafed clovers is describing the shape of the dogs paw, but

also four-leafed clovers are associated with good luck, which gives us

a benign and warm association. The second verse is also submitting a

friendly atmosphere around dogs when it refers to the way dogs "grin"

and "tease us", this shows the good relationship shared between man

and dog. Raine describes the teeth of dogs like "Yale keys" suggesting

that they are serrated, jagged and sharp, Raine also uses imagery to

describe the way a dog's tongue slips out as it pants, "joke-shop

Niagara tongues," this line also includes an element of humour if you

imagine a massive joke-shop tongue!

In the third verse Raine starts focusing on the different breeds of

dog, and certain characteristics that make them different to one

another. He mentions a whippet and how it "jack-knifes across the

grass", implying that the whippet is sharp and quick. He also notices

an afghan hound with its fringe of straight hair on either side of its

head like the traditional folds of an "opera house curtain"; he also

mentions how the afghan looks a bit like Wild Bill Hicock - which

implies that dogs can sometimes have human characteristics, the

'human' theme is carried on in the last verse, when Raine is

mentioning certain things that dogs do.

In the next verse Raine talks about the Labrador and how it, "cranks a

village pump", this is a description of how it wags its tail so

vigorously and enthusiastically. Then he goes to the opposite type of

dog, the boxer who, "shimmies her rump, docked to a door knocker",

this describes how a boxer has to wag its whole posterior because its

tail has been cut off. When describing the Alsatian Raine says, "the

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