Dogs are at once among the most ordinary of animals and the most beloved by mankind. But what we may not realize is that for as long as we have loved dogs, our poets have been seriously engaged with them as well.
In this collection, English professor Duncan Wu digs into the wealth of poetry about our furry friends to show how varied and intimate our relationships with them have been over the centuries. Homer recounts how Odysseus’s loyal dog recognizes his master even after his long absence. Thomas Hardy wrote poems from a pooch’s perspective, conveying a powerful sense of dogs’ innocent and trusting nature. And a multitude of writers, from Lord Byron to Emily Dickinson, have turned to poetry to mourn the loss of beloved dogs. Rich and inviting, Dog-eared is a spellbinding collection of poetic musings about humans and dogs and what they mean to each other.
I always enjoy poems about animals and had previously enjoyed other collections I found, so I was excited to see this one pop up. I really enjoyed the biographical information about each author and the animals that they had in their lives, but I was somewhat disappointed when a good number of the poems weren’t necessarily about dogs, and maybe had only a few lines or a mention of dogs. I was really hoping all of them would have dogs as the central subject, but I did enjoy the variance between styles and subjects overall.