From Homer to Wordsworth to Gwendolyn Brooks, learn about history's greatest writers and the furry best friends that inspired them. 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 as well. In this collection, English professor Duncan Wu digs into the wealth of poetry about our furry friends to show how varied and intimate our relationships with them have been over the centuries. Homer recounts how Odysseus's loyal dog recognizes his master even after his long absence. Thomas Hardy wrote poems from a pooch's perspective, conveying a powerful sense of dogs' innocent and trusting nature. And a multitude of writers, from Lord Byron to Emily Dickinson, have turned to poetry to mourn the loss of beloved dogs. Rich and inviting, Dog-eared is a spellbinding collection of poetic musings about humans and dogs and what they mean to each other.
Duncan Wu is Raymond A. Wagner professor of literary studies at Georgetown University and a former fellow of St. Catherine's College, Oxford. He has written on Romantic writers from William Wordsworth to William Hazlitt, as well as on contemporary British theater. He and his dog Topsy live in McLean, Virginia.