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Darling, I Love You: A Collaboration From Patrick and Daniel Ladinsky
The book Darling, I Love You: Poems from the Hearts of Our Glorious Mutts and All Our Animal Friends, is a collection of poetry and illustrations honoring the animal-human bond. It’s also a collaboration between Patrick and internationally acclaimed poet Daniel Ladinsky, widely known for his interpretations of Hafiz, Rumi, and other mystic poets. Daniel’s other books include The Gift, I Heard God Laughing, and Love Poems from God.
This heartwarming collection features selections from Daniel’s thousands of original, unique haiku, alongside drawings of Patrick’s beloved MUTTS characters. These perfectly sweet pairings are sure to tug at the tender emotions of anyone who knows what it’s like to love and be loved by an animal.
How did you come to collaborate with Daniel Ladinsky?
I discovered Daniel’s work a few years ago while browsing the spiritual section of a bookstore. He’s famous for translating the poets Rumi and Hafiz — and he translates them not only with insight, but also with some humor. Quite a few of his poems include animal imagery, and I related to his work. It seemed we had similar sensibilities.
While reading his poems, I was inspired to illustrate them. I took the liberty to do some examples and sent them to Daniel with the idea that — if he liked them — maybe we could do a book of illustrated poems he’d already written. When he saw my illustrations, he wrote to me and said he would love to do a book. And even more exciting, he said he would write new poems based on the MUTTS characters.
How did it feel to read those new poems, knowing they were based on MUTTS?
It was awesome. He’s someone who I really admire. And because I loved some of his older poems so much — ones that had already been published in his other books — we included a few of those, too.
How would you describe the theme of the book?
Animals help us spiritually, and that’s what Darling, I Love You is really about. In my introduction to the book, I write about how poets and comics are very similar — and for that reason, our collaboration really works. Daniel’s poems, accompanied by the MUTTS comics, really get to the heart of the matter. And they’ll put a smile on your face.