by Bettina Forget
Many of my favourite poetry books are odes to animals - those we live with, those we observe from afar, and those who fall prey to us. In this little compendium of poetry books starring animals are two editions I have leafed through so often, they have become lovingly dog-eared (if you'll pardon the pun): Vikram Seth's inspired tome "Beastly Tales", which is a witty re-telling of famous animal tales from all over the world, and the collection of poems about dogs titled "Unleashed", which are poems from the dogs' point of view, written by the well known writers and poets who love them. Also in the collection are the classic "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" by T.S. Eliot, and a wonderful collection of Haiku featuring all kinds of living creatures. And for those who like to reflect on why we live with animals, check out Alvin Greenberg's collection of sonnets.