Poetry often operates through metaphor. Writers describe something by making a comparison: “Mind in its purest play is like some bat." In this course, we will study poems in which the poet writes about a creature from the natural world in order to make a point about us humans. We will look at poems about fellow mammals, like bears and dogs, as well as poems about more alien creatures, like snakes and toads. A connection between ourselves and the natural world draws us into the work of such poets as Dickinson, Bishop, Frost, Wilbur, and Oliver.