Welcome to our collection of animal poems! As William Wordsworth once said,
“Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.”
As we explore the fascinating world of animals through poetries about animals, we’ll discover their unique characteristics, behaviors, and habitats.
With every word, these poems bring the natural world to life, capturing its awe-inspiring beauty and endless mystery.
So, whether you’re an animal lover, a poetry enthusiast, or simply seeking a moment of inspiration, we invite you to embark on this thrilling journey through the animal kingdom with us.
Famous Animal Poems
Welcome to our collection of famous poems about animals! In this category, we explore the enduring legacy of some of the greatest poets who have celebrated the natural world and its creatures in verse.
1. Hope Is a Thing with Feathers
by Emily Dickinson
Hope is a thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings a tune without words
And never stops at all.
And sweetest, in the gale, is heard
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That keeps so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea
Yet, never, in extremity
It ask a crumb of me.
2. Mouse’s Nest
by John Clare
I found a ball of grass among the hay
And progged it as I passed and went away;
And when I looked I fancied something stirred,
And turned again and hoped to catch the bird —
When out an old mouse bolted in the wheats
With all her young ones hanging at her teats;
She looked so odd and so grotesque to me,
I ran and wondered what the thing could be,
And pushed the knapweed bunches where I stood;
Then the mouse hurried from the craking brood.
The young ones squeaked, and as I went away
She found her nest again among the hay.
The water o’er the pebbles scarce could run
And broad old cesspools glittered in the sun.
by Kori Stricker
I was born one day to the sunny sky;
The light was quite a surprise.
My mother fed me and kept me warm,
While I was small in size.
I had a brother, close to my age,
To play with every day.
A feeling of fun I learned,
Made me happy in every way.
The days went on and I got older;
Winter rose before my eyes.
I felt cold and numb at night,
Waiting for the sun to rise.
I was running through the field one day;
I fell and hurt my toe.
A feeling of pain and discomfort I found;
Tears began to flow.
Days went on and I’ve healed and gotten better.
Came the season of happy days
And sunny weather.
I don’t understand, I know I can’t speak,
But this is all true.
I cry, and hurt, and play and love,
I have feelings just like you!
4. Kindness to Animals
Little children, never give
Pain to things that feel and live:
Let the gentle robin come
For the crumbs you save at home,—
As his meat you throw along
He’ll repay you with a song;
Never hurt the timid hare
Peeping from her green grass lair,
Let her come and sport and play
On the lawn at close of day;
The little lark goes soaring high
To the bright windows of the sky,
Singing as if ’twere always spring,
And fluttering on an untired wing,—
Oh! let him sing his happy song,
Nor do these gentle creatures wrong.
5. Of the Mole in the Ground
by John Bunyan
The mole’s a creature very smooth and slick,
She digs i’ th’ dirt, but ’twill not on her stick;
So’s he who counts this world his greatest gains,
Yet nothing gets but’s labour for his pains.
Earth’s the mole’s element, she can’t abide
To be above ground, dirt heaps are her pride;
And he is like her who the worldling plays,
He imitates her in her work and ways.
Poor silly mole, that thou should’st love to be
Where thou nor sun, nor moon, nor stars can see.
But O! how silly’s he who doth not care
So he gets earth, to have of heaven a share!
6. About Animals
by Hilda Conkling
Animals are my friends and my kin and my playfellows;
They love me as I love them.
I have a feeling for them I cannot express . . .
It burns in my heart.
I make thoughts about them to keep in my mind.
I warm the cold, help the hurt, play with the frolicsome;
I laugh to see two puppies playing
And I wonder which is which!
General is a dog with blue-black eyes;
They shine . . . there is a love comes from them;
He is filled with joy when he guards me;
His eyes try to speak.
I see his mind through them
When he asks me to say things for him as well as I can
Because he has no words.
7. The Armadillo
by Elizabeth Bishop
This is the time of year
when almost every night
the frail, illegal fire balloons appear.
Climbing the mountain height,
rising toward a saint
still honored in these parts,
the paper chambers flush and fill with light
that comes and goes, like hearts.
Once up against the sky it’s hard
to tell them from the stars —
planets, that is — the tinted ones:
Venus going down, or Mars,
or the pale green one. With a wind,
they flare and falter, wobble and toss;
but if it’s still they steer between
the kite sticks of the Southern Cross,
receding, dwindling, solemnly
and steadily forsaking us,
or, in the downdraft from a peak,
suddenly turning dangerous.
Last night another big one fell.
It splattered like an egg of fire
against the cliff behind the house.
The flame ran down. We saw the pair
of owls who nest there flying up
and up, their whirling black-and-white
stained bright pink underneath, until
they shrieked up out of sight.
The ancient owls’ nest must have burned.
Hastily, all alone,
a glistening armadillo left the scene,
rose-flecked, head down, tail down,
and then a baby rabbit jumped out,
short-eared, to our surprise.
So soft! — a handful of intangible ash
with fixed, ignited eyes.
Too pretty, dreamlike mimicry!
O falling fire and piercing cry
and panic, and a weak mailed fist
clenched ignorant against the sky!
Funny Animal Poems
Get ready to laugh and smile as we explore the lighter side of the animal kingdom in these interesting poems about animals.
1. What Kind of Pet Do You Think I Should Get?
by Jennifer Caldwell
What kind of pet do you think I should get?
A lion, a tiger, or maybe an egret?
My parents said I am responsible and can have whatever I wish.
A hippopotamus, a zebra, or maybe a fish?
What about a giraffe that I can feed from my upstairs bed?
Or would I have to climb up on the roof when it needs fed?
Maybe a lion who is a king and I can be the prince?
Do you think my parents I would have to convince?
There are monkeys and gorillas and snakes of all types!
But I think a cobra or boa constrictor would cause my mom to gripe!
Maybe an elephant, but they have such big poop!
A dump truck is what you would need if you had to poop scoop!
What about a camel with one or two humps?
I think if I rode it lot it would start to hurt my rump!
Or a polar bear like I saw at the zoo?
Does that mean I would have to live in an igloo?
I just can’t decide what I should choose?
Do you think an alligator my parents would refuse?
What about a shark that could live in my pool?
But who would feed it and pet it while I am away at school?
Maybe a grizzly bear; half the year they go to sleep.
Never mind, it might attack my neighbor’s herd of sheep!
My little sister said, “Why don’t you get a skunk?”
I told her I think that’s the worst idea anyone’s ever thunk!
It seems like the perfect animal is really hard to pick!
Maybe the best one would be a little baby chick?
I must think about this for just a little while more.
It’s too hard to just pick one; will my parents let me choose four?
My mom said she was thinking more like a cat or a dog!
Or maybe it could be a gerbil or a frog.
Let’s go to the animal shelter and see what needs a good home.
As for all the other animals, let them be wild and free and let them roam.
We went to the shelter and picked out two!
A cat named Pinky and a dog named Blue.
Both had been abandoned and left to die.
It broke my heart and made me cry!
So if your parents ever let you get a pet,
Head to a shelter and save some lives and have no regret!
2. Painting Zebras
by Denise Rodgers
My job is painting zebras.
They are awfully fond of stripes.
I guess I do a good job as
I hear no major gripes.
I start out every morning
with two paint cans and a brush.
I paint each stripe painstakingly.
I never like to rush.
I’ve tried to paint on blue or red,
but try hard as I might.
The zebra’s choice of color line
is clearly black and white!
3. My Pet Tiger
by Barry Stebbings
I took my pet tiger to my doctor
Because it had a very bad day.
Now, my tiger’s depression is still there,
But my doctor has gone away.
4. The Electric Eel
by Denise Rodgers
If swimming, you would give a squeal
if you should come across an eel.
Hi slimy, snake-like look is mocking.
Worst of all, his touch is shocking!
No, you don’t have to like him much.
And if you see him: look, don’t touch!
5. A Turtle Never Leaves Its Home
by Denise Rodgers
A turtle never leaves its home
despite the miles that he might roam.
He stays beneath his shell-like dome.
It feels so residential.
His domicile does weigh him down.
(But not in water; he won’t drown.)
He’s never really out of town.
His home ties are essential.
He asks nobody to come in.
It does not matter — friend nor kin.
His door remains behind his chin.
He’s truly confidential.
Simple Animal Poems for Children
In this category, we’ve gathered easy poems about animals for kids. These poems are perfect for introducing young readers to the wonders of the animal kingdom.
1. My First Pet
by Kevin T. Pearson
My mommy said today
That I could get a pet one day.
I gave her a kiss
Then started making my list.
Maybe I could get a giraffe.
It would be so fun to give him a bath.
What about a rhinoceros? I thought.
I am sure that it must eat a lot.
I could get a monkey.
Together we could swing from tree to tree.
I know, I could get an armadillo.
She could sleep under my pillow.
How about a kangaroo?
But only if she has room for two.
I’m sure I don’t want a porcupine.
I would be saying “ouch” all the time.
It would be fun to have a horse.
He would have to live outside, of course.
Okay, maybe a hippopotamus.
It will probably eat as much as the rhinoceros.
An elephant would be fun as can be
If he doesn’t sit on me.
I could get along with a pig just fine,
Rolling in mud all the time.
I gave my mom my list.
She bent down and gave me a kiss,
Put her hand to her heart,
And said a fish would be a good start.
by Santhini Govindan
When my cat sleeps, he snoozes
Inside the laundry basket,
Or on top of a tree,
Crammed inside a shelf,
Where no-one can see.
In empty shopping bags,
And cartons made of cardboard,
On piles of books and newspapers,
And suitcases that are stored.
Curled up under furniture,
In places we’d never think to look.
Or nestled behind a flower pot,
In a hard to find nook.
Since my cat sleeps for at least sixteen hours each day
He must be bored of sleeping in the same old way!
3. My Best Friend
by Abby Jenkins
Black and white
Thick and furry
Fast as the wind
Always in a hurry
Couple of spots
Rub my ears
Always comes when his name he hears
Loves his ball; it’s his favorite thing
What’s most fun for him? Everything!
Great big tongue that licks my face
Has a crate, his very own space
Big brown eyes like moon pies
He’s my friend till the very end!
4. Glow Worm
by Taylor Russell
Oh, I wish I were a glow worm,
for a glow worm’s never glum,
’cause how can you be grumpy
when the sun shines out your bum?
5. Best Birthday Ever!
by Zorian Alexis
“Amazing!” was all I could say
Because I finally got my puppy today.
Chocolate brown with soulful eyes,
Definitely the perfect birthday surprise.
Every year I had asked for one.
Finally my mom hit a home run.
Getting me this perfect gift
Has given me such a joyful lift.
I will forever cherish my little boy
Just like I did my favorite stuffed toy.
Keeping him oh so near to me,
Loving him oh so tenderly,
Making him a promise that I will never break:
Nothing will harm him while I’m awake.
Our bond has already begun to grow,
Pure love that all pet owners know.
Quietly he is sleeping in my arms,
Rendering me helpless to all of his charms.
Staring at my little bundle of joy,
Thinking of the perfect name for my boy.
Undecided, I’ve come up with a few
Various possibilities what should I do.
Winchester or perhaps Chester for short.
Xander or maybe a bold name like Cort.
You deserve the perfect name.
Zorian means happy, and I hope you are the same.
6. The Lamb
by William Blake
Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee,
Gave thee life, and made thee feed
By the stream and o’er the mead?
Gave thee clothing of delight,—
Softest clothing, woolly, 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 and He is mild;
He became a little child:
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.
Little lamb, God bless thee!
Little lamb, God bless thee!
Animal Poems for Adults
Welcome to our poems about animals for adults! In this category, we present a selection of evocative verses that explore the complex relationship between humans and the natural world.
1. The Trouble with Elephants: A Word to the Wise
by Michael R. Burch
An elephant never forgets
and thus they don’t make the best pets:
Jumbo may well out-live you,
but he’ll never forgive you,
no matter how sincere your regrets!
2. The Blobfish
by Michael R. Burch
You can call me a “blob”
with your oversized gob,
but what’s your excuse,
great gargantuan Zeus
whose once-chiseled abs
are now marbleized flab?
But what really alarms me
(how I wish you’d abstain)
is when you start using
that oversized “brain.”
Consider the planet! Refrain!
3. Like an Animal
by Jimmy Santiago Baca
Behind the smooth texture
Of my eyes, way inside me,
A part of me has died:
I move my bloody fingernails
Across it, hard as a blackboard,
Run my fingers along it,
The chalk white scars
That say I AM SCARED,
Scared of what might become
Of me, the real me,
Behind these prison walls.
4. A Mother Cries
by Amber Huether
An excellent poem about a mother wolf defending her baby cub.
The wolf howls in the darkness,
She lets the wind carry her cries.
Her silhouette on a hilltop,
The moon reflected in her eyes.
The agony she carries, the pain.
At her feet, the lifeless cub she bore.
In the animal kingdom it’s the circle of life,
Nothing less and nothing more.
The moon casts down its sympathy,
As it blankets around her rabid soul.
Nature defenseless against man,
An innocent life that white man stole.
As her howl travels,
The hunter stops dead still.
For the hunted often holds revenge,
An angry mother, ready to kill.
Her silhouette no longer rests under the moon,
It runs through the old forest trees.
Her legs swift, much faster than the hunter.
His cries carry through the breeze.
5. The Newcomer
by Brian Patten
‘There’s something new in the river,’
The fish said as it swam.
‘It’s got no scales, no fins and no gills,
And ignores the impassable dam.’
‘There’s something new in the trees.’
I heard a bloated thrush sing.
‘It’s got no beak, no claws, and no feathers,
And not even the ghost of a wing.’
‘There’s something new in the warren,’
Said the rabbit to the doe.
‘It’s got no fur, no eyes and no paws,
Yet digs further than we dare go.’
‘There’s something new in the whiteness,’
Said the snow-bright polar bear.
‘I saw its shadow on a glacier,
But it left no pawmarks there.’
Through the animal kingdom
The news was spreading fast.
No beak, no claws, no feather,
No scales, no fur, no gills,
It lives in the trees and the water,
In the soil and the snow and the hills,
And it kills and it kills and it kills.
by Sierra Marston
Wolves howling towards the moon
Gray and dark
Sitting on a rock
Snow falling all around
Pine trees swaying
green and white
Soft like a feather
Goes to sleep
Wakes up in the snow
Covered in a blanket
Joins the rest of the pack
to get the kill for breakfast
And again for the next day and the next
Short Animal Poems
Here, we’ve curated a collection of short poems about animals that pack a big punch in just a few lines. Get ready to be amazed by how much depth in few words!
1. The Considerate Crocodile
by Amos Russel Wells
There was once a considerate crocodile
Who lay on the banks of the river Nile,
And he swallowed a flsh with a face of woe,
While his tears ran fast to the stream below.
“I am mourning,” said he, “the untimely fate
Of the dear little fish that I just now ate!”
2. The Ostrich
by Ogden Nash
The ostrich roams the great Sahara.
Its mouth is wide, its neck is narra.
It has such long and lofty legs,
I’m glad it sits to lay its eggs.
3. The Eagle
by Alfred Tennyson
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
4. To a Lizard
by W. S. Landor
Why run away, poor lizard? why
Art thou so diffident and shy?
Trust to my word; I only want
To look awhile and see thee pant.
For well I know thy pantings are
No signs of sorrow or of care,
Although they swell thy jewelled breast
And never let it lie at rest:
Even when thou sinkest to repose
None ever saw thy eyelids close.
Turn, I beseech thee, turn again,
So mayst thou watch no fly in vain.
5. Ode to A Zebra
by Robynne Meulemans
I’m a stunning display of black and white,
Contrasting stripes to captivate sight.
My mane stands up straight and proud.
Every visual detail about me is loud.
Black with white stripes is what they say.
This matters not; I’m beautiful either way.
Never domesticated; no, not me.
I’m a zebra and I need to roam free.
6. The Rhinoceros
by Annette Wynne
The rhinoceros walks around, he’s large but makes less noise
And does less damage I am sure than certain girls and boys.
by Ian Mole
Giraffe, zarafa, beautiful one.
Fawn and brown marble, kissed by the sun.
A long lick of neck, nibbling on high
Staring at me with your brown bulbous eye.
Hoof-dung air nostrilling all around you
Says that it’s safe in your home/prison/zoo.
Unseen savannahs stretch off far away.
Okapi neighbors are here to stay.
Giraffe, zarafa, second to none
Stun us forever, beautiful one.
Long Animal Poems
In this category, we present a selection of long poetries about animals that take readers on a journey through the wonders of the natural world.
1. The White Hare
by James G. Brooks
It was the Sabbath eve: we went,
My little girl and I, intent
The twilight hour to pass,
Where we might hear the waters flow,
And scent the freighted winds that blow
Athwart the vernal grass.
In darker grandeur, as the day
Stole scarce perceptibly away,
The purple mountain stood,
Wearing the young moon as a crest:
The sun, half sunk in the far west,
Seem’d mingling with the flood.
The cooling dews their balm distill’d; A holy joy our bosoms thrill’d;
Our thoughts were free as air;
And by one impulse moved, did we
Together pour, instinctively,
Our songs of gladness there.
The green-wood waved its shade hard by:
While thus we wove our harmony:
Lured by the mystic strain,
A snow-white hare, that long had been
Peering from forth her covert green,
Came bounding o’er the plain.
Her beauty ’twas a joy to note;
The pureness of her downy coat,
Her wild, yet gentle eye;
The pleasure that, despite her fear,
Had led the timid thing so near,
To list our minstrelsy!
All motionless, with head inclined,
She stood, as if her heart divined
The impulses of ours,
Till the last note had died, and then
Turn’d half reluctantly again
Back to her green-wood bowers.
Once more the magic sounds we tried;
Again the hare was seen to glide
From out her sylvan shade;
Again, as joy had given her wings,
Fleet as a bird she forward springs
Along the dewy glade.
Go, happy thing! disport at will;
Take thy delight o’er vale and hill,
Or rest in leafy bower:
The harrier may beset thy way,
The cruel snare thy feet betray!
Enjoy thy little hour!
We know not, and we ne’er may know,
The hidden springs of joy and wo
That deep within thee lie:
The silent workings of thy heart,
They almost seem to have a part
With our humanity!
2. Prairie-Dog Town
by Mary Hunter Austin
Old Peter Prairie-dog
Builds him a house
In Prairie-Dog Town,
With a door that goes down
And down and down,
And a hall that goes under
And under and under,
Where you can’t see the lightning,
You can’t hear the thunder,
For they don’t like thunder
In Prairie-Dog Town.
Old Peter Prairie-Dog
Digs him a cellar
In Prairie-Dog Town,
With a ceiling that is arched
And a wall that is round,
And the earth he takes out he makes into a mound.
And the hall and the cellar
Are dark as dark,
And you can’t see a spark,
Not a single spark;
And the way to them cannot be found.
Old Peter Prairie-Dog
Knows a very clever trick
Of behaving like a stick
When he hears a sudden sound,
Like an old dead stick;
And when you turn your head
He’ll jump quick, quick,
And be another stick
When you look around.
It is a clever trick,
And it keeps him safe and sound
In the cellar and the halls
That are under the mound
In Prairie-Dog Town.
3. Whales: An Innocent Death
by Chelsie Woodhead
As the gentle giants swim through the sea,
Not expecting a thing,
A sharp metal object is heading their way,
And they feel a sharp sting.
They don’t know what happened,
But they feel a lot of pain,
The innocent creatures,
Are pulled up by a chain.
Now they’ve figured it out,
They know what’s going on,
A whaling harpoon has hit them,
A massive violent gun.
As they’re pulled up to the whaling ship,
Their condition deteriorates,
They get weaker and weaker,
They’re in a terrible state.
The last thing they see,
Just before they die,
Is the satisfied look,
In the fisherman’s eye.
I hope this proves,
How cruel whaling is,
Well how would you like it,
If you were treated like this?
4. The Lizard
by A. C. Benson
Jewelled Lizard, you and I
On the heathery hill-top lie,
While the westering sun inclines
Past the clump of red-stemmed pines;
O’er the little space of sun
Creep their shadows, one by one.
Now you sit with sparkling eye
While the bee spins homing by;
Now you quiver, dart, and rush.
Flickering through the heather-bush;
Pattering round me, as I muse,
Through the dry gorse avenues.
What fantastic spirit made you,
So devised you, so arrayed you,
Thus, through centuries of leisure,
Shaped you for a moment’s pleasure,
Stole from woodland diadems
Your incomparable gems.
Borrowed from the orbèd dew
Emerald glints to burnish you?
See, the world beneath us smiles;
Heathery uplands, miles on miles,
Purple plains and ridges steep.
Smoke from hamlets bowered deep,
Rolling downs with hazy head
To the far horizon spread.
Think it, lizard, every rood,
Every stretch of field and wood,
Every yard of sunny space,
Rears and tends its little race!
Half-a-hundred little hearts
Play unseen their tiny parts,
Bask beneath the liquid sky,
Lizard bright, as you and I.
Whence and whither! here you rest;
You would scorn the foolish quest.
I in drear omniscience
Weave me dreams of how and whence.
You, you care not; you, you run
To and fro beneath the sun.
Till these lights your armour leave.
Darkling in the dusky eve.
5. March of The Penguins
by Dave Whitton
The Emperor penguins march, slip and slide and march.
Males and females, side by side, follow their instinct
To a meeting ground – a mating ground- then stop.
Males preen, while the females, outnumbering the males,
Fight for a mate – fight for their mothering need.
Secure, for a while, in their penguin love,
one pair stands motionless on the ice
As if posing in a black and white still
under a cloudless blue heaven.
With gentle feet, the females slowly pass the fragile eggs
To their mates, in an age old ritual, learned but not rehearsed.
An egg rolls away, its warmth cracking fatally on freezing ice.
The living parcels, passed by skilful pairs may yet survive what is to come,
In Nature’s harshest landscape on earth.
The mothers, exhausted, but their part unfinished, force themselves to leave
To revive, replenish and return within four long months.
Meanwhile, the males’ heads bowed and backs to the howling storms,
With their young enfolded beneath them,
Huddle like stubborn skittles,
Resisting all that nature throws at them.
Hatching and starving one chick feeds off milky fat
Retched from the throat of an already starving father.
Death is inevitable if the mother does not return
And already the grey feathers of the early born
Blow like dead ashes scattered across the frozen ice.
But suddenly, in deafening volume, the females arrive!
They stop and listen to recognize the unique cries of their chicks.
Feeding begins, and afterwards a family of three can be seen
Standing together –
Away from the crowd –
A living monument to survival and commitment
In Nature’s harshest landscape on earth.
6. The Chameleon
by James Merrick
Oft has it been my lot to mark
A proud, conceited, talking spark,
With eyes that hardly served at most
To guard their master ’gainst a post;
Yet round the world the blade has been,
To see whatever could be seen.
Returning from his finish’d tour,
Grown ten times perter than before,
Whatever word you chance to drop,
The travell’d fool your mouth will stop.
“Sir, if my judgment you’ll allow,
I’ve seen, and sure I ought to know.”
So begs you’d pay a due submission,
And acquiesce in his decision.
Two travellers of such a cast,
As o’er Arabia’s wilds they pass’d,
And on their way, in friendly chat,
Now talk’d of this, and then of that,
Discoursed awhile, ’mongst other matter,
Of the Chameleon’s form and nature.
“A stranger animal,” cries one,
“Sure never lived beneath the sun:
A lizard’s body lean and long,
A fish’s head, a serpent’s tongue,
Its foot with triple claw disjoin’d,
And what a length of tail behind!
How slow its pace! And then its hue!
Who ever saw so fine a blue?”
“Hold, there!” the other quick replies;
“’Tis green; I saw it with these eyes,
As late with open mouth it lay,
And warm’d it in the sunny ray.
Stretch’d at its ease the beast I view’d,
And saw it eat the air for food.”
“I’ve seen it, sir, as well as you,
And must again affirm it blue.
At leisure I the beast survey’d
Extended in the cooling shade.”
“’Tis green, ’tis green, sir, I assure ye.”
“Green!” cries the other in a fury;
“Why, sir, d’ye think I’ve lost my eyes?”
“’Twere no great loss,” the friend replies;
“For if they always serve you thus,
You’ll find them but of little use.”
So high at last the contest rose,
From words they almost came to blows,
When luckily came by a third;
To him the question they referr’d,
And begg’d he’d tell them, if he knew,
Whether the thing was green or blue.
“Sirs,” cries the umpire, “cease your pother;
The creature’s neither one nor t’other.
I caught the animal last night,
And view’d it o’er by candle-light.
I mark’d it well; ’twas black as jet.
You stare! But, sirs, I’ve got it yet,
And can produce it.” “Pray, sir, do;
I’ll lay my life the thing is blue.”
“And I’ll be sworn, that when you’ve seen
The reptile, you’ll pronounce him green.”
“Well, then, at once to ease the doubt,”
Replies the man, “I’ll turn him out;
And when before your eyes I’ve set him,
If you don’t find him black, I’ll eat him.”
He said; and full before their sight
Produced the beast, and lo! ’twas white.
Both stared; the man look’d wondrous wise.
“My children,” the Chameleon cries
(Then first the creature found a tongue),
“You all are right, and all are wrong.
When next you talk of what you view,
Think others see as well as you;
Nor wonder if you find that none
Prefers your eyesight to his own.”
Animal Poems That Rhyme
These charming poems about animals with rhyme use the power of rhyme to capture the essence of the animal kingdom with playful and musical language.
1. The Most of It
by Robert Frost
He thought he kept the universe alone;
For all the voice in answer he could wake
Was but the mocking echo of his own
From some tree—hidden cliff across the lake.
Some morning from the boulder—broken beach
He would cry out on life, that what it wants
Is not its own love back in copy speech,
But counter—love, original response.
And nothing ever came of what he cried
Unless it was the embodiment that crashed
In the cliff’s talus on the other side,
And then in the far distant water splashed,
But after a time allowed for it to swim,
Instead of proving human when it neared
And someone else additional to him,
As a great buck it powerfully appeared,
Pushing the crumpled water up ahead,
And landed pouring like a waterfall,
And stumbled through the rocks with horny tread,
And forced the underbrush—and that was all.
2. To a Rabbit
by Helen M. Johnson
Go to the green wood, go
I oft shall sigh for thee,—
And yet rejoice to know,
That thou art sporting free.
Go to the meadows green,
Where summer holds her reign;
When winter spoils the scene
Wilt thou return again?
A shelter thou wouldst find
From every howling storm;
The heart thou leav’st behind
Would still be true and warm.
Why dost thou struggle thus?
Does every balmy breeze
That softly fanneth us,
Tell of the waving trees?
Do yonder happy birds
That sing for thee and me,
For chorus have the words
So precious—”I am free?”
Go then, as free as they,
As light and happy roam
With thy companions gay,
Safe in thy forest home.
There—thou art gone; farewell!
My heart leaps up with thine;
And I rejoice to tell
Thou art no longer mine.
I could not breathe the air
Where pining captives dwell;
My freedom thou wilt share,
With joy then, fare-thee-well.
3. Wild Horses
by Shelagh Bullman
Thunder of hooves across the land,
A gallant proud stallion is leading his band,
With grace and beauty they gallop and run,
Enjoying the freedom and warmth of the sun.
They stop and graze on grassy plains,
With only the wind to groom their manes,
No man can govern where they roam,
Fence-less pastures their only home.
Stand proud wild horses with spirit strong,
In man-less land where you belong,
Untamed you gallop on land through sea,
Forever wild ….. Forever free.
4. No One Loves a Crow
We watch it ache and screech,
Tortured for some mercy in its misery,
We’re not allowed to wring its neck
All because the law can love a crow
Every time I mention its pain,
I get scolded. Chastised. Reminded.
This is farming country: and no one loves a crow
They eat the eyes of helpless, newborn lambs
All because farming country loves a lamb
Especially one they can eat themselves
The call on the phone goes nowhere,
Just like that now flightless, punished bird,
Concerns dismissed by automated machines,
No one bothers to come after the tone,
All because no one loves a crow.
5. The Wild Swans at Coole
by William Butler Yeats
The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine and fifty swans.
The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold,
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes, when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?
6. The Eagle and the Mole
by Elinor Morton Wylie
Avoid the reeking herd,
Shun the polluted flock,
Live like that stoic bird,
The eagle of the rock.
The huddled warmth of crowds
Begets and fosters hate;
He keeps above the clouds
His cliff inviolate.
When flocks are folded warm,
And herds to shelter run,
He sails above the storm,
He stares into the sun.
If in the eagle’s track
Your sinews cannot leap,
Avoid the lathered pack,
Turn from the steaming sheep.
If you would keep your soul
From spotted sight or sound,
Live like the velvet mole:
Go burrow underground.
And there hold intercourse
With roots of trees and stones,
With rivers at their source,
And disembodied bones.
Animal Poems about Cat
Whether you’re a cat lover or simply appreciate the beauty of feline-inspired poetry, you’re sure to find something to enjoy in this cat poems collection.
1. Stray Cat
by Francis Witham
Oh, what unhappy twist of fate
Has brought you homeless to my gate?
The gate where once another stood
To beg for shelter, warmth, and food
For from that day I ceased to be
The master of my destiny.
While he, with purr and velvet paw
Became within my house the law.
He scratched the furniture and shed
And claimed the middle of my bed.
He ruled in arrogance and pride
And broke my heart the day he died.
So if you really think, oh Cat,
I’d willingly relive all that
Because you come forlorn and thin
Well…don’t just stand there…Come on in!
2. String and Ribbon
by Reilly Gandell
Thump. thump. thump.
Her tail gently lifts up, and then falls back to earth.
She lies, curled in a ball by the window.
The sun shines down on her lustrous black coat.
Her eyes are closed, letting herself to be separate from the outside world.
I reach out and stroke her gleaming fur.
Her body tenses, and then relaxes to my touch.
I look at her and realize how much I love her.
I think back to when she was only just a kitten.
How she would run around and play with string and ribbon.
And how even now, she has never completely been able to meow.
Always a cheery squeak that melts your heart.
She opens her green slits of eyes and peers into my own.
Then she lays back her head and begins her journey back to dreamland.
Thump. thump. thump.
3. Little Tiger Cat
by Annette Wynne
Little Tiger Cat, with the spotted face,
Do you think you’ve found a baby-jungle place?
Going through the grass, stealthily and slow,
Are you waiting to jump out and scare the folks you know?
And send them running to the house as fast as they can go?
Little Tiger Cat, it’s no use at all,
No matter what you think yourself, you’re rather tame and small,
And with all your hiding and your stern contemplation,
You cannot scare a single one of high or lowly station,
And so, there’s no use trying to be like your wild relation.
4. A Cat Might Sit up in a Tree
by Annette Wynne
A cat might sit up in a tree
And be as guiltless as could be,
But if a nest were near, I know
I should hardly think him so.
5. Sonnet to a Cat
by John Keats
Cat! who hast pass’d thy grand cliacteric,
How many mice and rats hast in thy days
Destroy’d? — How many tit bits stolen? Gaze
With those bright languid segments green, and prick
Those velvet ears — but pr’ythee do not stick
Thy latent talons in me — and upraise
Thy gentle mew — and tell me all thy frays
Of fish and mice, and rats and tender chick.
Nay, look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists —
For all the wheezy asthma, — and for all
Thy tail’s tip is nick’d off — and though the fists
Of many a maid have given thee many a mail,
Still is that fur as soft as when the lists
In youth thou enter’dst on glass bottled wall.
6. The Little New Pupil
by Annette Wynne
Brand new pupil came to school,
His eyes—how quick and bright!—
I wonder, will he learn each rule—
And learn to read and write?
I hope he’ll always wipe his feet
On coming up the stair,
And keep his face and garments neat,
And brush his teeth and hair.
A brand new pupil came to school,
I fear he came to play—
I fear he’ll never keep the rule—
He’s but a kitten gray.
7. Kitty and Mouse
Once there was a little kitty,
White as the snow;
In a barn he used to frolic,
Long time ago.
In the barn a little mousie
Ran to and fro;
For she heard the little kitty,
Long time ago.
Two black eyes had little kitty,
Black as a crow;
And they spied the little mousie,
Long time ago.
Four soft paws had little kitty,
Paws soft as snow;
And they caught the little mousie,
Long time ago.
Nine pearl teeth had little kitty,
All in a row;
And they bit the little mousie,
Long time ago.
When the teeth bit little mousie,
Mousie cried out “Oh!”
But she slipped away from kitty,
Long time ago.
Animal Poems about Dog
In this category, we celebrate our loyal and loving companions with a collection of dog poems. So, grab a ball, and dive into the delightful world of dog-themed poetry.
1. Are There Paw Prints in Heaven?
by Missy Davis
I hear of a place that is made of gold,
a place where we shall never grow old,
but one answer I have not heard at all,
will there be paw prints from my little dog?
He promised us joy right from the start.
I just wonder if she’ll be a part.
So as I sit here and dream of the day,
I wonder if in heaven she will stay?
When you’re walking down with the saints of old,
take a glimpse of that new road,
and if there you shall see,
maybe a paw print just for me.
2. A little Dog That Wags His Tail
by Emily Dickinson
A little Dog that wags his tail
And knows no other joy
Of such a little Dog am I
Reminded by a Boy
Who gambols all the living Day
Without an earthly cause
Because he is a little Boy
I honestly suppose —
The Cat that in the Corner dwells
Her martial Day forgot
The Mouse but a Tradition now
Of her desireless Lot
Another class remind me
Who neither please nor play
But not to make a “bit of noise”
Beseech each little Boy —
3. Lessons from Dogs
by Bettina Van Vaerenbergh
Have you ever wondered
Why dogs don’t live that long?
It’s because their souls are true
And their love is strong.
Dogs give their heart away
Totally for free.
They love us as we are,
We people are slow learners,
So we need many years
To figure out life’s purpose,
What we’re doing here…
How to be gentle and kind,
And to be rich in love,
And how to live a good life –
Dogs know well enough.
Our loyal canine friends
Can teach us lots of things,
Like taking delight in nature;
The simple joy it brings.
Dogs enjoy the smell of grass
And the warmth of the sun.
They dig a restful midday nap
As much as a good run.
They’re always very eager
To welcome a brand new day;
Always full of enthusiasm
For whatever comes their way.
All they ask is our attention;
Just a cuddle or a touch.
To be happy and content,
They really don’t need much.
Dogs greet their special humans
Very passionate and loud;
They’re not the least bit afraid
To let their emotions out.
No matter their age,
They keep a keen sense of play.
Dogs live mindful, in the now,
Seizing each and every day.
Dogs are always faithful;
The love they give is true;
That’s why dogs don’t have to live
As long as humans do!
4. It’s Just a Dog
by Sadie A. Gibbs
You may be a dog,
But to me you’re more.
You’re the light in my fog.
You put up with our war,
“Its just a dog,”
Are the words from someone
Who has never seen fog
And whose wars have not begun.
Through thick and through thin,
You’ve stayed by my side.
Even when I can’t win,
Even when hope has died,
You’re the angel I wished for,
You’re the best friend I’ve had.
You’re all I wanted and more,
And I love you like mad,
I can’t thank you enough
For the things that you do.
When times are tough,
I’m so glad I have you.
5. My Puppy Is a Handful
by Ann Davies
My puppy is a handful,
So full of energy.
She jumps around to greet us
And wags her tail with glee.
She digs when in the garden,
Getting muddy from her head to her toes.
Whatever goes on in her mind,
Heaven only knows.
She bolts her food so quickly
And barely chews at all.
She saves her chewing for the rug,
Our shoes and the kitchen wall!
Everyone tells me she will improve,
And I want to believe what they say,
So I’m hoping our dear little puppy
Will become docile one day.
We want to create a harmonious home,
So we’ll try exercise, discipline and rest,
And trust that she will calm down,
For we can only do our best.
Remember the saying,
“Let sleeping dogs lie.”
Now I have my own puppy,
I can understand why!
Animal Poems about Tiger
Here, we explore the majesty and power of one of the world’s most iconic big cats with a collection of tiger poems. These verses capture the fierce beauty.
1. The Tiger
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
In the still jungle of the senses lay
A tiger soundly sleeping, till one day
A bold young hunter chanced to come that way.
“How calm,” he said, “that splendid creature lies,
I long to rouse him into swift surprise!”
The well aimed arrow shot from amorous eyes,
And lo! the tiger rouses up and turns,
A coal of fire his glowing eyeball burns,
His mighty frame with savage hunger yearns.
He crouches for a spring; his eyes dilate—
Alas! bold hunter, what shall be thy fate?
Thou canst not fly, it is too late, too late.
Once having tasted human flesh, ah! then,
Woe, woe unto the whole rash world of men,
The wakened tiger will not sleep again.
2. Caged Tiger
by Paghunda Zahid
Amid the chaos
Amid the storm
The dark clouds were adorned
By a dome of seven shades
And a silence prevailed
A stillness was proclaimed
The leaves, the petals stood amazed
While the birds flew in haste
As the sun shone on the cage
Where a tiger was in rage
Roaring and walking still in chains
Watching the rain being flown in cascade
The dried leaves red by blood from a crusade
Started digging up the key from the swamp
In hope that a devine hand will descend to help
The chains will be broken
And the tiger will soon be running in the wild
Ferocious… notorious… with an incredible zeal
On the cliffs, in the meadows and deep in the woods
3. Tiger in the Sea
by Carolyn Devonshire
I thought I had hooked the world’s largest grouper
After struggling for hours, I was still reeling
Refused help from a friend; I was a trooper
Somehow I found its resistance appealing
Hot sun on the Gulf had me in a stupor
And in my hands I started to lose feeling
It finally came into view just before dark
Was shocked to find a fifteen-foot tiger shark
He’d just been toying with me all afternoon
And he was more than half the size of my boat
I felt like a comic in a weird lampoon
My heart seemed to be rising up in my throat
Captain Ahab might have viewed this as a boon
But far too much weight did this tiger shark tote
He bolted, took off, stripped the line from my reel
And I had to cast elsewhere for my next meal
4. Walking My Tiger Home
by Viv Wigley
Walking my Tiger home, if only I had known
in the small print of the sale there was a claws
in a nutshell it was leading to instructions about feeding
if I’d have known I would have stopped to think and paws.
Fur this big cat ain’t no Vegan it eats food like Becca Teagan
in fact any living creature roaming free,
which fills me with disquiet since the Tiger’s fussy diet
means the only thing at home he’ll eat is me.
In retrospect, methinks I should have bought a Lynx
it’s much smaller and so are what it will munch
if I’d thought about it sooner I could have got a Puma
since there’s cattle up the road he’d have for lunch.
And what would have been much neater is an elegant young Cheetah
since they leave us human people well alone,
much much better than a Panther, that would not have been the anther
since all there’d be of me left is my bones.
So the motion I have carried is to go off and get married
and when the Tiger’s ate and belched and had his fill
get re-wed to some more wives, they’ll have short but happy lives
and they’ll help me to keep down my feeding bill.
5. The Tiger and the Dove
by Dawn Drickman
The tiger, majestic and proud
Fearless, strong and solitary
A predator by nature
Domineering yet wary
The dove, gentle and harmonious
Passive and apprehensive
A free spirit by nature
But always on the defensive
The jungles most perilous feline
Encounters the fragile dove
A most unlikely pair
Yet they have found love
Their journey will be a challenge
Obstacles in every direction
A never ending conflict
Between rage and affection
Each possesses, what the other lacks
Complimenting and yet taunting
A compromise of character
Is what they are wanting
She wants his intemperance
He wants her domestication
Together seeking a compromise
In search of salvation
The dove cannot tame him
Or dismiss his need for the hunt
She must accept who he is
Placing him at the forefront
The tiger cannot disengage her
Or deride her passion to nest
He must accept who she is
Keeping her abreast
The future lies uncertain
For the tiger and the dove
But they can conquer anything
If they just remember to love
by Jo Daniel
Threatened national beast*,
Tawny coat with black stripes,
Teeth sharp and agile feet,
Totally strong and brave,
Targets small animals,
Tracks, tackles, tears, and tastes,
Triumphant growl is heard.
7. Tiger Dance
by Carconti Etva
Sleek, slender, cracking whip
dip, arch, circle,
agile, quick, deceitfully frail,
Is the delicate Art of the tiger Tail
Sharp, focused, all seeing orbs
dart, stalk, shimmer,
clear, intelligent, decidedly sly,
Is the dangerous Glint of the tiger eye
Strong, crude, ensnaring traps
catch, beat, claim,
savage, unfaltering, with addition of claw,
Is the brutal Work of the tiger Paw
Bloody, pointed, end of the game
devour, tear, shred,
And you with your final note sang
Are taken by the ravenous tiger Fang
I walk away without giving you a second glance
It’s your own fault you couldn’t keep with the Tiger Dance
In conclusion, poetry about animals offer a wonderful way to celebrate the beauty, grace, and mystery of the animal kingdom.
Whether you’re a fan of playful and humorous verses, and insightful reflections on the natural world, there is sure to be a poem for animals out there that speaks to you.
We hope that this collection of animal poems has inspired you to explore the rich and varied world of animal-inspired poetry.
And that you have discovered new favorites along the way.
So please feel free to share your thoughts, comments, and favorite animal poems with us below!