Photo of robot dog in Shanghai‘Shanghai’s Robo Dogs’ by Maura H. Harrison The Society May 19, 2022 Culture, Human Rights in China, Poetry, Readings 7 Comments . https://classicalpoets.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/ShanghaisRoboDogs-MauraHarrison.mp3 . Shanghai’s Robo Dogs With quick unnatural steps, and side to side Focusing glances, robo dogs preside And prowl the streets. They wear their growls in little Speakers around their necks, their barking spittle A blare of words: Go home, home now, now go. They click, record, and scurry to and fro On double-jointed limbs, metallic bones. They’re quickly joined by dark and hovering drones That troll the high-rise skies and reprimand The nighttime cries for food. The drones demand “Control your soul’s desire for freedom! Do Not open windows! Do not sing!” Who knew That hunger’s aria was humming just Outside so many balconies, a gust Of air that makes the starved bird scream, or sing, As soon as darkness hides the face and wing. . . Maura H. Harrison is a poetry student in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at the University of St. Thomas. She lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 7 Responses Allegra Silberstein May 19, 2022 Great poem, Maura! Reply Paul Freeman May 19, 2022 The shape of things to come – and already here! A chilling poem. Thanks for the read, Maura. Reply Theresa Dould Cummings May 19, 2022 Terrific, another nightmare realized. A truly masterful work of poetry. Thank you. Reply Jeff Eardley May 20, 2022 Maura, an absolutely terrifying nightmare of the future. I have seen the scary video. Thank you for a real bone-chiller of a poem. Reply Lannie David Brockstein May 20, 2022 Was that robot dog in China built by Boston Dynamics in the U.S.A.? https://www.csmonitor.com/Technology/2021/0730/All-bite-and-no-bark-Robotic-police-dogs-force-debate Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant May 20, 2022 Maura, you have captured (in creepy, vivid imagery) the draconian influence that threatens our freedom, and you’ve done it admirably within a poem that the world should hear. Thank you! Reply Margaret Coats May 21, 2022 Splendid poem on Shanghai at present, with allusions to the tradition of “Sympathy” by Paul Laurence Dunbar and “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou. Top-notch couplets and an effective reading of them. The black poets’ contrast of caged and free birds is taken to another level of horror by the prohibition of singing. The Shanghai silence is worse than the American singing, and indeed worse than the Auschwitz starvation bunker, where Nazi guards paid no attention to what prisoners were doing as they died deprived of food. Reply Leave a Reply to Allegra Silberstein Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.