Poetry and Animals: Blurring the Boundaries with the Human
Type of Work
Columbia University Press
New York, NY, USA
In Poetry and Animals, Onno Oerlemans explores a broad range of English-language poetry about animals from the Middle Ages to the contemporary world. He presents a taxonomy of kinds of animal poems, breaking down the categories and binary oppositions at the root of human thinking about animals. The book considers several different types of poetry: allegorical poems, poems about “the animal” broadly conceived, poems about species of animal, poems about individual animals or the animal as individual, and poems about hybrids and hybridity. Through careful readings of dozens of poems that reveal generous and often sympathetic approaches to recognizing and valuing animals’ difference and similarity, Oerlemans demonstrates how the forms and modes of poetry can sensitize us to the moral standing of animals and give us new ways to think through the problems of the human-animal divide.
Hamilton Areas of Study
Literature and Creative Writing