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We offer a selection of poems dedicated to wild and domesticated animals, written by poets of over the centuries. These verses express the mystery and drama of the relationships between people and animals, allowing us to see the ecopoietic, visionary, and sacred dimensions of these relationships, their ability to generate new meanings and forms of experience. We invite readers to contribute to this selection of poems. Please feel free to send us poems on animals than you find relevant.


William Blake (1757–1827), the visionary English poet, wrote and illustrated many books of poetry, among them two short books, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. The books contrast two images of the world, the first of the newborn child free of sin, the second of the adults who have created a world of pain. The two songs below, The Lamb and The Tyger, present complementary visions of innocence and experience.

The Lamb

Little Lamb who made thee 

Dost thou know who made thee 

Gave thee life & bid thee feed. 

By the stream & o'er the mead;

Gave thee clothing of delight,

Softest clothing wooly bright;

Gave thee such a tender voice,

Making all the vales rejoice! 

Little Lamb who made thee 

Dost thou know who made thee 


Little Lamb I'll tell thee,

Little Lamb I'll tell thee!

He is called by thy name,

For he calls himself a Lamb: 

He is meek & he is mild, 

He became a little child: 

I a child & thou a lamb, We are called by his name.

Little Lamb God bless thee. 

Little Lamb God bless thee.


The Tyger

Tyger Tyger, burning bright, 

In the forests of the night; 

What immortal hand or eye, 

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?


In what distant deeps or skies, 

Burnt the fire of thine eyes?

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the hand, dare seize the fire?


And what shoulder, & what art,

Could twist the sinews of thy heart?

And when thy heart began to beat,

What dread hand? & what dread feet?


What the hammer? what the chain,

In what furnace was thy brain?

What the anvil? what dread grasp,

Dare its deadly terrors clasp?


When the stars threw down their spears 

And water'd heaven with their tears:

Did he smile his work to see?

Did he who made the Lamb make thee?


Tyger Tyger burning bright,

In the forests of the night:

What immortal hand or eye,

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


Christopher Smart (1722-1771) was an English poet and a friend to influential cultural icons like Samuel Johnson and Henry Fielding. Smart, a high church Anglican, was widely known throughout London for widespread accounts of his father-in-law, John Newbery, locking him away in a mental asylum for many years over Smart's supposed religious "mania." Even after his eventual release, a negative reputation continued to pursue him, as he was known for incurring more debt than he could repay; this ultimately led to his confinement in debtors' prison until his death. His two most widely known works are A Song to David and Jubilate Agno which are believed to have been written during his confinement in St. Luke's Asylum. Jubilate Agno was not published until 1939 when it was found in a library.

Jubilate Agno, Fragment B, [For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry]

For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.

For he is the servant of the Living God, duly and daily serving him.

For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.

For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.

For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.

For he rolls upon prank to work it in.

For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.

For this he performs in ten degrees.

For first he looks upon his forepaws to see if they are clean.

For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.

For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the forepaws extended.

For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.

For fifthly he washes himself.

For sixthly he rolls upon wash.

For seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.

For eighthly he rubs himself against a post.

For ninthly he looks up for his instructions.

For tenthly he goes in quest of food.

For having considered God and himself he will consider his neighbor.

For if he meets another cat, he will kiss her in kindness.

For when he takes his prey, he plays with it to give it a chance.

For one mouse in seven escapes by his dallying.

For when his day's work, is done his business more properly begins.

For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary. 

For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and glaring eyes.

For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life.

For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.

For he is of the tribe of Tiger.

For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger.

For he has the subtlety and hissing of a serpent, which in goodness he suppresses.

For he will not do destruction if he is well-fed, neither will he spit without provocation.

For he purrs in thankfulness when God tells him he's a good Cat.

For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.

For every house is incomplete without him, and a blessing is lacking in the spirit.

For the Lord commanded Moses concerning the cats at the departure of the Children of Israel from Egypt.

For every family had one cat at least in the bag.

For the English Cats are the best in Europe.

For he is the cleanest in the use of his forepaws of any quadruped.

For the dexterity of his defense is an instance of the love of God to him exceedingly.

For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.

For he is tenacious of his point.

For he is a mixture of gravity and waggery.

For he knows that God is his Saviour.

For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest. 

For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion. 

For he is of the Lord's poor, and so indeed is he called by benevolence perpetually--Poor Jeoffry! poor Jeoffry! the rat has bit thy throat.

For I bless the name of the Lord Jesus that Jeoffry is better. 

For the divine spirit comes about his body to sustain it in complete cat.

For his tongue is exceeding pure so that it has in purity what it wants in music.

For he is docile and can learn certain things.

For he can sit up with gravity, which is patience upon approbation.

For he can fetch and carry, which is patience in employment.

For he can jump over a stick, which is patience upon proof positive.

For he can spraggle upon waggle at the word of command.

For he can jump from an eminence into his master's bosom.

For he can catch the cork and toss it again.

For he is hated by the hypocrite and miser.

For the former is afraid of detection. 

For the latter refuses the charge.

For he camels his back to bear the first notion of business.

For he is good to think on, if a man would express himself neatly.

For he made a great figure in Egypt for his signal services.

For he killed the Icneumon rat, very pernicious by land.

For his ears are so acute that they sting again.

For from this proceeds the passing quickness of his attention.

For by stroking of him I have found out electricity.

For I perceived God's light about him both wax and fire.

For the electrical fire is the spiritual substance which God sends from heaven to sustain the bodies both of man and beast.

For God has blessed him in the variety of his movements.

For, though he cannot fly, he is an excellent clamberer.

For his motions upon the face of the earth are more than any other quadruped.

For he can tread to all the measures upon the music.

For he can swim for life.

For he can creep.


Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919-2021) was an American poet and painter who lived most of his life in San Francisco. He was identified by many as a Beat poet, although he refused the designation. Ferlinghetti had a populist and democratic attitude to life, critical of political authority. At the same time, his poems often moved from the mundane to the metaphysical. In this poem, we inhabit the consciousness of the dog walking in San Francisco, treating Congressman Doyle as just another fire hydrant to urinate on, while at the same time raising ultimate questions about the meaning of existence.


The dog trots freely in the street

and sees reality

and the things he sees

are bigger than himself

and the things he sees

are his reality

Drunks in doorways

Moons on trees

The dog trots freely thru the street

and the things he sees

are smaller than himself

Fish on newsprint

Ants in holes

Chickens in Chinatown windows

their heads a block away

The dog trots freely in the street

and the things he smells

smell something like himself

The dog trots freely in the street

past puddles and babies

cats and cigars

poolrooms and policemen

He doesn’t hate cops

He merely has no use for them

and he goes past them

and past the dead cows hung up whole

in front of the San Francisco Meat Market

He would rather eat a tender cow

than a tough policeman

though either might do

And he goes past the Romeo Ravioli Factory

and past Coit’s Tower

and past Congressman Doyle

He’s afraid of Coit’s Tower

but he’s not afraid of Congressman Doyle

although what he hears is very discouraging

very depressing

very absurd

to a sad young dog like himself

to a serious dog like himself

But he has his own free world to live in

His own fleas to eat

He will not be muzzled

Congressman Doyle is just another

fire hydrant

to him

The dog trots freely in the street

and has his own dog’s life to live

and to think about

and to reflect upon

touching and tasting and testing everything

investigating everything

without benefit of perjury

a real realist

with a real tale to tell

and a real tail to tell it with

a real live


                         democratic dog

engaged in real

                      free enterprise

with something to say

                             about ontology

something to say

                        about reality

                                        and how to see it

                                                               and how to hear it

with his head cocked sideways

                                       at streetcorners

as if he is just about to have

                                       his picture taken

                                                             for Victor Records

                                  listening for

                                                   His Master’s Voice

                      and looking

                                       like a living question mark

                                                                 into the

                                                              great gramaphone

                                                           of puzzling existence

                 with its wondrous hollow horn

                         which always seems

                     just about to spout forth

                                                      some Victorious answer

                                                              to everything.


Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893 – 1930) was a Russian and Soviet poet, playwright, artist, and actor. During his early period up to1917, Mayakovsky became renowned as a prominent figure of the Russian Futurist movement. Mayakovsky produced a large and diverse body of work during the course of his career: he wrote poems, wrote and directed plays, appeared in films, edited the art journal. Though Mayakovsky's work regularly demonstrated ideological and patriotic support for the ideology of the Bolsheviks, his relationship with the Soviet state was always complex and often tumultuous. Mayakovsky often found himself engaged in confrontation with the increasing involvement of the Soviet state in cultural censorship and the development of the state doctrine of Socialist Realism. In 1930, Mayakovsky killed himself. He was in fact very kind, gentle and vulnerable person, and very fond of animals.

The Good Treatment of Horses

The hoofs came tripping,

Sang to the cobbles:





With wind slipping,

With ice hobbled,

Slippery street,

And onto her rump

The horse crashed —

And instantly, the gawkers and chatters,

Who come to Kouznetsky for their trouser covers,


And laughter rang and rattled:

“A horse fell, see! See, the horse fell over!”

All Kouznetsky laughed

And only I

Didn’t add my voice to its cry and hue.

I came up and saw —

The horse’s eyes…

The street tipped over

And flowed askew…

I came up and saw

Tear after tear

Slide along the muzzle and hide in the hair.

And as if one common animal longing and fear

Gushed out of me and into thin air…

“Oh, please, horse, don’t.

Oh, please, horse, listen:

Why are you thinking that, how are you worse?

Darling, we all are a little bit horses,

Each one of us is, in some way, a horse.”

Perhaps she was too old, and needed no coddling;

Perhaps even my thought she thought vain…

But the horse lunged up

Stood without tottering,


And walked on again.

Redhaired child, tail swishing silly…

She came back happy,

Stood in her stall.

And it seemed to her she was still a filly

And life and work worth doing after all.

(1918; translation Tamara Vardomskaya, October 2013)


Ted Hughes (1930 –1998) was an English poet, translator, and children's writer. Critics frequently rank him as one of the best poets of his generation and one of the twentieth century's greatest writers. His most significant work is perhaps Crow (1970), which, while it has been widely praised, also divided critics, combining an apocalyptic, bitter, cynical and surreal view of the universe with what sometimes appeared simple, childlike verse. Within its opus he created a cosmology of the totemic Crow who was simultaneously God, Nature and Hughes' alter ego. The publication of Crow shaped Hughes' poetic career as distinct from other forms of English Nature Poetry.


In the beginning was Scream

Who begat Blood

Who begat Eye

Who begat Fear

Who begat Wing

Who begat Bone

Who begat Granite

Who begat Violet

Who begat Guitar

Who begat Sweat

Who begat Adam

Who begat Mary

Who begat God

Who begat Nothing

Who begat Never

Never Never Never

Who begat Crow

Screaming for Blood

Grubs, crusts


Trembling featherless elbows in the nest's filth.


Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) was one of the most famous of the American poets of his time. He became a prominent figure in the literary underground of America. He achieved wider recognition in the late 1960s and gained fame in 1987, when the movie Drunken (directed by Barbet Schroeder), based on Bukowski's semi-autobiographical script, was released on the screen in the United States. Bukowski's life and work have been the subject of several documentaries, and his prose has been filmed many times.


there's a bluebird in my heart that

wants to get out

but I'm too tough for him,

I say, stay in there, I'm not going

to let anybody see


there's a bluebird in my heart that

wants to get out

but I pour whiskey on him and inhale

cigarette smoke

and the whores and the bartenders

and the grocery clerks

never know that


in there.

there's a bluebird in my heart that

wants to get out

but I'm too tough for him,

I say,

stay down, do you want to mess

me up?

you want to screw up the


you want to blow my book sales in


there's a bluebird in my heart that

wants to get out

but I'm too clever, I only let him out

at night sometimes

when everybody's asleep.

I say, I know that you're there,

so don't be


then I put him back,

but he's singing a little

in there, I haven't quite let him


and we sleep together like


with our

secret pact

and it's nice enough to

make a man

weep, but I don't

weep, do



Hayden Carruth (1921-2008) was an American poet who taught for many

years at Syracuse University in New York. He won the National Book

Award for his collection Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey 



So many poems about the deaths of animals.

Wilbur’s toad, Kinnell’s porcupine, Eberhart’s squirrel,

and that poem by someone–Hecht? Merrill? –

about cremating a woodchuck. But mostly

I remember the outrageous number of them,

as if every poet, I too, had written at least

one animal elegy; with the result that today

when I came to a good enough poem by Edwin Brock 

about finding a dead fox at the edge of the sea

I could not respond; as if permanent shock

had deadened me. And then after a moment

I began to give way to sorrow

(watching myself sorrowlessly the while),

not merely because part of my being had been violated and annulled,

but because all these many poems over the years

have been necessary–suitable and correct.

This has been the time of the finishing off of the animals.

They are going away–their fur and their wild eyes, their voices.

Deer leap and leap in front of the screaming snowmobiles

until they leap out of existence.

Hawks circle once or twice around their shattered nests

and then they climb to the stars.

I have lived with them fifty years,

we have lived with them fifty million years,

and now they are going, almost gone.

I don’t know if the animals are capable of reproach.

But clearly they do not bother to say good-bye.


About the journal

In accordance with the Law of the Russian Federation on the Mass Media, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) on September 22, 2020, the web-based publication - The peer-reviewed scientific online journal "Ecopoiesis: Eco-Human Theory and Practice" was registered (registration number El No. FS77-79134).

“Ecopoiesis: Eco-Human Theory and Practice” is the international multidisciplinary Journal focused on building an eco-human paradigm, disseminating eco-human knowledge and technology based on the alliance of ecology, humanities and the arts. Our journal aims to be a vibrant forum of theories and practices aimed at harmonizing the relations of mankind and the natural world in the interests of sustainable development, the creation of Eco-Humanity as a new community of human beings and more-than-human world. The human being is an ecological being, not separate from the world. The Ecopoiesis journal is based on that premise and aims to develop a body of theory and practice within that framework.

The Journal promotes dialogue and cooperation between ecologists, philosophers, doctors, educators, psychologists, artists, musicians, designers, social activists, business representatives in the name of eco-human values, human health and well-being, in close connection with concern for the environment. The Journal supports the development and implementation of new environmentally-friendly concepts, technologies and practices in the various fields of health and public life, education and social work.

One of the priority tasks of the Journal is to demonstrate and support the significant role of the arts in their alliance with ecology and the humanities for the restoration and development of constructive relations with nature, raising environmental awareness and promoting nature-friendly lifestyles.

The Journal publishes articles describing new eco-human concepts and practices, technologies and applied research data at the intersection of humanities, ecology and the arts, as well as interviews and conference reports related to the emerging eco-human field. It encourages artwork, music and other creative products related to eco-human practices and the new global community of Eco-Humanity.