This post will be continuously updated, for collecting and sorting poems that focus on animals.

birds dogs cats critters fish horses lobsters mollusks
reptiles amphibians spiders insects invertebrate imaginary zoo


  1. Béranger, Pierre-Jean deThe Swallows [Black Cat Poems]
  2. Bishop, Elizabeth — Roosters [Poetry Foundation]
  3. Broughton, T. Alan — Great Blue Heron [American Life in Poetry]
  4. Brown, George Mackay — The Hawk [The Poetry Archive]
  5. Bryant, William Cullen — To a Waterfowl [Yale Book of American Verse]
  6. Burns, David — Geese [pdf pg] [Agenda]
  7. Clampitt, AmyThe Kingfisher [Poetry Society of America]
  8. Clare, JohnThe Yellowhammer (with reading by Randall Couch ) [Poets on Poets]
  9. Clare, JohnTurkeys [Poetry Society of America]
  10. Ebenbach, David Harris — The sparrows gather nearby… [Subtropics]
  11. Ghigna, CharlesHunting the Cotaco Creek [Poetry Foundation]
  12. Hardy, Thomas — The Darkling Thrush [Poem of the Day]
  13. Harrison, JimBirds Again []
  14. Hughes, Ted — Hawk Roosting [E-Verse Radio]
  15. Jeffers, RobinsonHurt Hawks [Poetry Foundation]
  16. Keats, John — Ode to a Nightingale; with reading by Jennifer Grotz [Poets on Poets]
  17. Kennedy, Bernard — Pigeon in the loft [Electric Acorn]
  18. Kizer, Carolyn — The Great Blue Heron [the the poetry blog]
  19. McFerrin, Linda Watanabe — Canada Goose [Canary]
  20. Millay, Edna St. VincentWild Swans [Poetry Society of America]
  21. Nandy, June — A bird makes a crowd flaccid [qarrtsiluni]
  22. Oliver, MaryThe Hummingbird [Poem of the Day]
  23. Oliver, MaryThe Loon [Poem of the Day]
  24. Oliver, MaryWild Geese [Poem of the Day]
  25. Poulson, Kaelum — The Crow [Poetry Foundation]
  26. Roethke, TheodoreThe Heron [Poetry Society of America]
  27. Roper, Mark — Hummingbird [Guardian]
  28. Schomburg, ZacharyA Band of Owls Moved Into Town [Tarpaulin Sky]
  29. Shelley, Percy Bysshe — To A Skylark; with reading by Rae Armantrout [Poets on Poets]
  30. Simic, Charles — Don’t Name the Chickens [Slate]
  31. Smith, J. D.In an Atrium [The Nervous Breakdown] Featuring a flamingo.
  32. Stevens, WallaceThirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird [Poetry Out Loud]
  33. Stone, Darren — Learning from the birds [Christian Science Monitor]
  34. Tennyson, Alfred, LordThe Eagle [Poetry Foundation]
  35. Thomas, Edward — The Owl [E-Verse Radio. Also at The Best American Poetry.]
  36. Tigchelaar, JeffOne Way of Looking at Thirteen Blackbirds [Verse Daily]
  37. Van Prooyen, LauraCould Be a Bird [No Tell Motel]
  38. Wilbur, Richard — A Barred Owl [Poetry Foundation (also at Poetry Out Loud)]
  39. Wordsworth, William — To the Skylark [Poetry Moment]
  40. Wright, JamesYou and I Saw Hawks Exchanging the Prey[Poetry Foundation]
  41. Yezzi, David — Azores: Mother Carey’s Hen [pdf] [Ohio University Press]
  42. York, John Thomas — Egret [Verse Daily]

See also the separate Verse Per Se collection of poems for the mockingbird.


  1. Doty, Mark — Golden Retrievals [Poetry Out Loud]
  2. Dylan, Bob — If Dogs Run Free [Bob Dylan] OK sure, it’s not really a poem about dogs, but how can I resist having it here? “If dogs run free, then what must be / Must be, and that is all…”
  3. Ferlinghetti, LawrenceDog [Poetry Out Loud]
  4. Kelly, Brigit Pegeen — Sheet Music [Poetry Out Loud]
  5. Mcleod, Irene Rutherford — Lone Dog [Poetry Moment]
  6. Neruda, Pablo — A Dog Has Died [Poetry Foundation]
  7. Ryan, MichaelThe Dog [The American Poetry Review]
  8. Updike, John — Dog’s Death [E-Verse Radio]
  9. Wright, JamesOn the Skeleton of a Hound []
  10. Zimmer, Paul — Dog Music [Poem of the Day]


  1. Allen, Gilbert — My Guardian Biped [Free Lunch]
  2. Baudelaire, Charles (translated by Florence Major) — The Cat [qarrtsiluni] “The brown opium of my desire still lives.”
  3. Gray, Thomas — On The Death Of A Favourite Cat, Drowned In A Tub Of Gold Fishes [E-Verse Radio]
  4. Hilbert, Ernest — A Legend about Cats [Praxilla]
  5. Locey, Kathryn — Wild Inside [Christian Science Monitor]
  6. Murray, LesObserving the Mute Cat [Poetry Daily]
  7. Terris, Virginia R.A Walk with My Cat [Beloit Poetry Journal]
  8. Williams, William CarlosPoem [E-Verse Radio] ——— [The Writer’s Almanac]


  1. [Anonymous] — The Pig [The Writer’s Almanac]
  2. Atwood, MargaretRat Song [Poem of the Day]
  3. Bishop, Elizabeth — The Armadillo []
  4. Bishop, Elizabeth — The Moose [E-Verse Radio]
  5. Blake, WilliamThe Tyger []
  6. Bly, RobertThe Lion and the Lioness [Asheville Poetry Review]
  7. Brown, Jericho — Lion [E-Verse Radio] See also From the Fishouse.
  8. Crawford, Isabella Valancy — The Dark Stag [Poetry In Voice]
  9. Devaney, Thomas — Baby Black Bear [The Awl]
  10. Eberhart, Richard — The Groundhog [Oldpoetry] (Also at BigCityLit)
  11. Geddes, Gary — Jimmy’s Place [Canadian Poetry Online] Featuring a cow.
  12. Geller, ConradThe Coyote in the Graveyard [Rattle]
  13. Gibb, Robert — For the Chipmunk in My Yard [Poetry Foundation]
  14. Hughes, Ted — View of a Pig [E-Verse Radio]
  15. Jamie, Kathleen — Pipistrelles [Poetry Archive]
  16. Kavanagh, P J — The Clapham Elephants [The Poetry Archive]
  17. Kinnell, GalwayThe Bear []
  18. Kumin, Maxine — Woodchucks []
  19. Levin, PhillisA Rhinoceros at the Prague Zoo [Poetry Northwest]
  20. McKee, Glenn — Lester’s Calling [Rattle] Featuring a beloved pig.
  21. Mitchell, Adrian — Elephant Eternity [The Poetry Archive]
  22. Murray, LesBats’ Ultrasound [Poetry Archive]
  23. Murray, LesPlatypus [E-Verse Radio]
  24. Oliver, MaryOne Hundred White-Sided Dolphins on a Summer Day [Poem of the Day]
  25. Roethke, TheodoreThe Bat [Friends of Theodore Roethke]
  26. Schomburg, ZacharyBear and Camper [Tarpaulin Sky]
  27. Snider, CliftonMountain Lion [Clifton Snider] Of a carving.
  28. Temelkuran, Ece (translated by Deniz Perin) — Squirrel [Poetry Daily]
  29. Wunder, Sue — Where the Cows Sleep [Christian Science Monitor]
  30. Wunderlich, MarkCoyote, with Mange [Poetry Foundation]


  1. Bishop, Elizabeth — The Fish [E-Verse Radio]
  2. Hughes, Langston — Catch [Poetry Foundation] At least half this poem belongs in this subset, does it not.
  3. Melville, Herman — The Maldive Shark []
  4. Sheffield, Derek — A Good Fish [Poetry Foundation]
  5. Wright, Charles — Heaven’s Eel [The New Yorker]
  6. Wright, JamesNorthern Pike []

See also On The Death Of A Favourite Cat, Drowned In A Tub Of Gold Fishes under Cats.


  1. Dylan, Bob — All The Tired Horses [Bob Dylan] Enough said.
  2. Jerome, Judson — Horses [pdf pg] [Beloit Poetry Journal]
  3. Levine, Philip — The Horse [Poetry Foundation]
  4. Longley, Michael — The Horses [The Times Literary Supplement]

Lobsters — See Lobsters.


  1. Gunn, Thom — Considering the Snail [Poetry Archive]
  2. Moore, Marianne — An Octopus [E-Verse Radio]


  1. Abonado, Albert — Snake Story [Guernica]
  2. Beddoes, Thomas Lovell — A Crocodile []
  3. Ellison, GeorgeBeneath the Flaming Cardinal Flower [Asheville Poetry Review] Copperheads in August.
  4. Jones, RodneySkink [Poetry Foundation]
  5. Lawrence, D.H. — Snake [E-Verse Radio]
  6. Lindsay, VachelThe Little Turtle [Poetry Foundation]
  7. Moses, Brian — The Sssnake Hotel [Poetry Archive]
  8. Mudie, Ian — Snake [Old Poetry]
  9. Roethke, TheodoreSnake [PBS]
  10. Ryan, Kay — Turtle [Poetry Foundation]


  1. Belloc, Hilaire — The Frog [Poetry Foundation]
  2. Wright, JamesSmall Frogs Killed on the Highway (4th poem on the page) [In a Dark Time]


  1. Barton, Bernard — Bruce and the Spider [Poet’s Corner]
  2. Howitt, Mary — The Spider and the Fly [Wikisource]
  3. Lowell, Robert — Mr. Edwards and the Spider [Old Poetry]
  4. Taylor, Edward — Upon A Spider Catching A Fly [Everyday Poems]


  1. Aygi, GennadiyThird Grasshopper (translated by Peter France) [Words without Borders]
  2. Barbauld, Anna Lætitia — The Caterpillar [Representative Poetry Online]
  3. Donne, JohnThe Flea [Poetry In Voice]
  4. Dudek, Louis — The Strange Moth [Canadian Poetry Online]
  5. Entrekin, CharlesClimate Change: Drought [Climate Change: Drought] Hungry beetles.
  6. Frost, Robert — A Boy’s Will: My Butterfly [Wikisource]
  7. Herbert, Zbigniew — Wasp [Poetry Foundation]
  8. Howitt, Mary — The Spider and the Fly [Wikisource]
  9. Jones, RodneyThe Mosquito [Poetry Foundation]
  10. Keats, John — On the Grasshopper and Cricket [Poetry Foundation] Calling on those two insects to speak to the life of poetry.
  11. Komunyakaa, YusefYellowjackets [Poem of the Day]
  12. Lawrence, D. H.The Mosquito [Poetry Foundation]
  13. Padgett, Ron — Grasshopper []
  14. Shapcott, Jo — Six bee poems [pdf]: (1) I Tell The Bees; (2) The Threshold; (3) The Hive; (4) Going About With The Bees; (5) CCD; and (6) The Sting [Poetry Review]
  15. Shapcott, Jo — The Hive [E-Verse Radio]
  16. Sherbondy, Maureen A.The Bees [Verse Daily]
  17. Sill, Edward Rowland — The Crickets in the Fields [Poet’s Corner]
  18. Valvis, James — The Flies [Rattle]


  1. Bergengren, Ralph — The Worm [Poetry Foundation]


  1. Alexie, Sherman — The Last Sasquatch Defines His Loneliness (fifth of eight poems on the page) [Mudlark]
  2. Carroll, Lewis — Jabberwocky [Wikisource]
  3. Gunn, Thom — Moly [The Poetry Archive]
  4. Kennedy, X J — Hippogriff [Poetry Foundation]
  5. Morgan, EdwinThe Loch Ness Monster’s Song [Poetry Archive] Sounds very much like me on any given morning.
  6. Tennyson, Alfred, LordThe Kraken [E-Verse Radio]


  1. Dylan, Bob — Man Gave Names To All The Animals [Bob Dylan]
  2. Larsen, Lance — Chancellor of Shadows [Orion magazine]
  3. Nemerov, HowardThe Dependencies [Poetry Foundation]
  4. Roethke, Theodore — The Far Field [Theodore Roethke]
  5. Wright, JamesLying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota [Poetry Foundation]

This entry was posted in Alexie Sherman, Allen Gilbert, Atwood Margaret, Aygi Gennady, Barbauld Anna Lætitia, Barton Bernard, Baudelaire Charles, Béranger Pierre-Jean de, Beddoes Thomas Lovell, Belloc Hilaire, Bergengren Ralph, Bishop Elizabeth, Blake William, Bly Robert, Broughton T Alan, Brown George Mackay, Brown Jericho, Bryant William Cullen, Burns David, Carroll Lewis, Clampitt Amy, Clare John, Crawford Isabella Valancy, Devaney Thomas, Donne John, Doty Mark, Dudek Louis, Dylan Bob, Ebenbach David Harris, Eberhart Richard, Ellison George, Entrekin Charles, Ferlinghetti Lawrence, Frost Robert, Geddes Gary, Geller Conrad, Ghigna Charles, Gibb Robert, Gray Thomas, Gunn Thom, Hardy Thomas, Harrison Jim, Herbert Zbigniew, Hilbert Ernest, Howitt Mary, Hughes Langston, Hughes Ted, Jamie Kathleen, Jeffers Robinson, Jerome Judson, Jones Rodney, Kavanagh P J, Keats John, Kelly Brigit Pegeen, Kennedy Bernard, Kennedy X J, Kizer Carolyn, Komunyakaa Yusef, Kumin Maxine, Larsen Lance, Lawrence D H, Levin Phillis, Levine Philip, Lindsay Vachel, Locey Kathryn, Longley Michael, Lowell Robert, McFerrin Linda Watanabe, McKee Glenn, Mcleod Irene Rutherford, Melville Herman, Millay Edna St Vincent, Mitchell Adrian, Moore Marianne, Morgan Edwin, Moses Brian, Mudie Ian, Murray Les, Nandy June, Nemerov Howard, Neruda Pablo, Oliver Mary, Padgett Ron, Poulson Kaelum, Roethke Theodore, Roper Mark, Ryan Kay, Ryan Michael, Schomburg Zachary, Shapcott Jo, Sheffield Derek, Shelley Percy Bysshe, Sherbondy Maureen A, Sill Edward Rowland, Simic Charles, Smith J D, Snider Clifton, Stevens Wallace, Stone Darren, Temelkuran Ece, Tennyson Alfred Lord, Terris Virginia R, Thomas Edward, Tigchelaar Jeff, Updike John, Valvis James, Van Prooyen Laura, Wilbur Richard, Williams William Carlos, Wordsworth William, Wright Charles, Wright James, Wunder Sue, Wunderlich Mark, Yezzi David, York John Thomas, Zimmer Paul, [Anonymous] and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Animals

  1. cigalealex says:

    A very worthwhile project! I would be glad to share further titles. Are you interested in poems of single-focus only? Dylan Thomas’s Fern Hill and Roethke’s Far Field ( come immediately to mind as having a wider view. There’s Lowell’s Skunk Hour and numerous other Bishop poems. Kumine has written much of horses. Among contemporary classics, many by James Wright, William Stafford, and Richard Eberhart (
    Here are a couple of mags you maight be interested that contain my relevant work.
    Cordially, Alex

    • verseperse says:

      Thanks! Very much appreciated.

      Mostly, what I’m interested in is feeding my poetry reading addiction. As noted in my brief About page, just for my own purposes. Not meaning that goal to be exclusionary or antagonistic or any of the numerous other criticisms I’ve put up with on previous such personal projects. Just that I have no other goal outside of serving my own poetry reading. If any of that is useful to anyone else, I don’t mind. But it doesn’t change what I’m interest in for my own reading.

      That said, yes! this and my other sets (even my sets on aubades and on mockingbirds, both of which see more than casual random-walk attention in my reading) so far remain very much in their beginning stages. So any and all links such as these great ones you’ve given are very much appreciated. Watch to see them appear in my daily reading flow (whenever I get caught up with the records on that end of things).

      The links to the literary journals deserve an additional round of applause. In case it’s not obvious from my Zine Rack, I thoroughly enjoy reading the online offerings of poetry journals and other lit lit (much as I continue to enjoy as much print version as I can afford). The journal links you’ve given me here will shortly join my Rack reading, once I’ve had the time to bring them into the flood.

      If you have a blog or other online content with poetry or poetry-related content, feel free to add that as well. And again, thanks!!

  2. cigalealex says:

    An admirable goal, and it makes you an ideal reader. Here’s a mag with a regular Ecopoetry section, an issue I had work in. A number of others come to mind and I will mention others in time. Let’s try to keep the conversation going. Alex

    Click to access 2010book_proof5.pdf (ceased pubilcation)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s