Aug 19, 2010
I’m aware of some dog lovers sniffing around Banjo52. For that matter, I’m a dog lover too.
Displacement is the psychological operation by which we go home and kick the dog because we cannot kick the boss at work, or various other actual targets of our anger. That misdirection is one of the ego defense mechanisms—and “ego” here means healthy self-esteem, not arrogance. However, one wonders how much ego is left to defend if it requires kicking the pooch.
I wonder if Robert Wrigley would agree that that bit of psychology is one of the things going on with the child in his poem, “Do You Love Me?” I came across it a couple of years ago, loved it, yet forgot about it until I went to the trusty Poetry Foundation, looking for a love poem to suit my recent photo-capture of these youngsters, engulfed in themselves on a pier beside big water.
I find some awkwardness in the middle parts of “Do You Love Me,” but its knockout conclusion makes me forgive that. If you’d like to hear Wrigley reading it, go to Poetry Foundation as well as this site. Whatever you do, don’t kick the pooch (unless he deserves it).
Touched By A Monkey: "Do You Love Me?" by Robert Wrigley