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Dog-eared: Poems About Humanity's Best Friend

Duncan Wu

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Poetry anthologies (various poets)

Dogs in verse -- from Homer to Wordsworth to Gwendolyn Brooks

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.

In this collection, English professor Duncan Wu digs into the wealth of poetry about our furry friends -- who have been domesticated longer than any other species -- to show not only how attitudes toward dogs have changed over the centuries, but how those changes have been refracted through the prism of literature. While it's natural for dog lovers to understand their canine companions as whimsical, and to sentimentalize them, the greatest poets have transcended that impulse, and written about dogs in a way that engages with the more serious aspects of their lives -- and ours.

Dogs have, in short, insinuated themselves into nearly every facet of human thought. And to see them as anything less than of central significance in our cultural perceptions is to underestimate them. Rich and inviting, Dog-eared is a definitive, spellbinding collection of poetic musings about humans and dogs.

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