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Canis Major by Robert Frost

Our explanation of the meaning of the poem Canis Major, written by Robert Frost.

Shinigami Kidd

on 11 June 2013

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Transcript of Canis Major by Robert Frost

Canis Major
by Robert Frost
Total Poem Meaning
Stanza 1
Line 3
"With a star in one eye"
This means Canis major is part of a constellation with one star in its eye
Line 4
"Gives a leap in the east"
The dog is jumping to the east
Line 1
"He dances upright"
This is showing how Canis Major
always stands on his hind legs.
This line also contains personification.
It is physically impossible for a
constellation to dance.
Line 2
"All the way to the west"
This shows, referencing the previous
stanza, that the dog is "leaping" from the
east to the west.
Stanza 1
Line 1
"The Great Overdog"
Overdog is a nickname for Canis Major
Line 2
"The heavenly beast"
Canis Major is in the sky
A heavenly beast meaning a dog in the stars
Stanza 2
Stanza 2
Lines 3 & 4
"And never once drops
On his forefeet to rest."
These lines tell how the dog never
touches the ground with its forefeet
and always stands up on his hind
Stanza 3
Lines 1 and 2
Stanza 3
Lines 3 and 4
Story Overview
The poem "Canis Major" depicts the physical constellation and some mental ideas as well. He tells of Canis Major walking across the sky. Robert Frost, in the last stanza, says he is the underdog. This is a double meaning stating either he is under the constellation physically or that he is a loser, the meaning of underdog, in other respects.
About the Author
Born March 26, 1874 – Died January 29, 1963.
In 1894 he sold his first poem, "My Butterfly. An Elegy" and it sold for $15 which is equivalent, in today's time to about $400.
He is most famous for writing about rural life.
He was married to Elinor Miriam White
He was an English teacher in New Hampshire
Connections to real life

In real life, people have idols. A person they look up to. They want to be as good as that person. In the poem the dog looks up to the Overdog and wants to be like him. At the end poem the dog feels like one with the Overdog.
Canis Major
Thanks for Watching!
Maybe just say below in might/power
Stanza 2
Line 1 & 2
"He dance upright"
The dog is always on his hind legs
This line shows personification
It is physically impossible for a constellation
"All the way to the west"
The constellation is located all the way in the west
"I'm a poor underdog, but tonight I will bark"
The dog is saying that he is something lower
in power than the great celestial being of the
Overdog. He is barking with the pack of all the
dogs in the world to acknowledge the leader
of their pack, the Overdog.
With the great Overdog, that romps through the dark."
The dog wants to be one with the Overdog's pack. The Overdog is walking through the night sky, appearing to travel through it with the rotation of the Earth.
Astronomer Ptolemy named this constellation.
Canis Majoris contains Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky.
The ancient Latin meaning for Canis Majoris.
Its coordinates are: 07h 00m 00s, −20° 00 00
I'm a poor underdog,
But tonight I will bark
With the great Overdog
That roams through the dark.
He dances upright
All the way to the west
And never once drops
On his forefeet to rest.
The great Overdog,
That heavenly beast
With a star in one eye,
Gives a leap in the east.
Canis Major
Canis Major is a constellation in the southern hemisphere's summer (or northern hemisphere's winter) sky,
A dwarf galaxy also named Canis Major is located near the constellation.
Represents the bigger dog following Orion, while the smaller dog is named Canis Minor.
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